She knows most people don’t care about her name. Or the fact that she’s offering a full body massage—that’s just a smokescreen. After all, this is Backpage.com, and what’s really matters is her phone number—and the paying caller on the other end of the line.
But one night, her burner rings, and it’s not a john. It’s a private number- turns out it’s someone else entirely. She doesn’t have to do this kind of job forever, they say. And if she wants to leave, well, here’s a number she can call. That number belongs to Rescue Houston. And they’re getting women out of the sex trade.
Rescue Houston runs a 24/7 hotline for women who want to flee trafficking and have a safe, fresh start. Their exit path includes a stay in a secure transitional home, meetings with a case manager to plan next steps, therapy, and weekly support and connection with an outside mentor. In a six-month timeframe, 18 women, along with 5 of their children have started on the road to new, whole lives, with one even getting her own apartment where she can care for her eight year-old daughter.
The work isn’t easy, and Rescue Houston’s dedicated and capable staff is small. Having volunteers to increase their bandwidth only enables Rescue Houston to make more calls, to help more women, to see more captives freed.
And cared for.