The objective of Redeeming Love is to be a conduit of restoration for survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
We are a Christ following, faith-based community. We believe it is our responsibility to fight for the cause of the oppressed and to be agents for their healing. We do this by offering care to the whole person in order to achieve their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing.
In 2013, our Founder, Charlene Heydorn, had a personal encounter that opened her eyes to the reality of sex trafficking in the United States. It is not something that only happens on the other side of the world but a very present evil that lurks in communities all around us.
During a trip that year, Charlene met a young girl who was being trafficked and wanted a way out. Her story is like many who are victimized by traffickers.
On average, traffickers target girls during their most vulnerable stage, between the ages of 12-14. They select girls with vulnerabilities that make them easier to manipulate and control. Many victims have backgrounds that include foster care, abandonment, or homelessness and therefore have little or no familial support structures to return to. Tragically, by the time they are enslaved by their trafficker, over 90% of victims have already been sexually abused at some point in their childhood. All of these factors combined have left them developmentally and emotionally stalled out.
The girl Charlene encountered had a story just like this. She tried to take significant steps to leave but she was terrified to be rescued without her childhood blanket. Her hope was too small and the little girl inside of her needed the security it represented. And when she went back for it, she found her trafficker, and he took away what little hope she had left to survive without him.
The oppression was palpable. In every meaningful way, she was a slave; not only to her trafficker but also to her perceptions of her own self worth. That was his hook. She could not envision a life of hope for herself free from her trafficker.
Charlene couldn't walk away from that encounter and turn her back on what she had learned. Redeeming Love was born as a response to the enormous remaining need for support for trafficked survivors in the U.S. What drives us is the knowledge that there are thousands of girls just like the one she met who are still enslaved and in need of a way out.