All content © Stephen Huff Photography
Sex Trafficking Survivors: San Diego
The San Diego area has been identified by the FBI as one the nations top 8 cities for human trafficking. Each day in San Diego, vulnerable women and children are held against their will and forced to sell their bodies for sex. The average age of entry for American minors into the sex trade is 12-14 years old. Many are runaway girls who have already suffered sexual abuse as children. It has been estimated that up to one million children are involved in sex trafficking each year. Sex trafficking is the fastest growing business of organized crime. The traffickers make billions of dollars each year selling children for sex.
GenerateHope, a faith-based organization in San Diego founded by Susan Munsey, granted me access to one of their safe houses in order to document the lives of the women living there. The organization provides a long term, comprehensive recovery program that empowers sex trafficking survivors. The programs are designed to guide sexually trafficked women and girls into full rehabilitation and reintegration into society. The organization works in partnership with local law enforcement, churches, and community based organizations in the San Diego area to fight sex trafficking. Rehabilitative services include a day treatment program, group therapy, individual therapy, and ongoing support.
GenerateHope also has an education program that offers women the opportunity to complete their high school diploma and move on to college, trade schools, or a job. Long term housing includes homes for minor and adult females who have been sexually trafficked and provides an environment that allows the survivors to thrive in safety and security.
The women below are survivors of the sex trafficking industry. They are in the healing process. As such, I am not using their names in the image captioning.