Safe houses and transitional homes are popping up all over the US, some for minors, others for adults, and even one for men and boys exploited through sex trafficking. This is one of a wide variety of resources needed for helping victims leave their situation and find the help and support they need to heal and start building their new life. While many initially wondered if these houses would actually find victims to fill their beds, that has not been an issue in any of the houses across the US. Unfortunately, in the last six months, two of these houses have shut down due to a lack of funding. The number of beds available across the US specifically for victims of sex trafficking is depressingly few – less than a couple hundred total (consider 100,000+ children are at risk each year of falling victim, and there are currently 1 million adult female prostitutes in the US that studies suggest up to 90% of them have pimps).
General safe homes, transitional houses, homeless shelters and other such residential facilities have opened their doors to include survivors of sex trafficking, which is better than nothing. However, women coming out of a sex trafficking situation experience PTSD at the same rates as soldiers coming home from war zones, and it takes the average woman a minimum of two years to completely extricate herself and find enough therapy and resources to permanently escape her situation. Most residential facilities are not designed to shelter women and children for this length of time, which is why homes specifically for sex trafficking survivors are a crucial part of the resource network for them. And while the costs involved in long-term housing and care for a survivor can be anywhere from $25,000 and up, that fresh start for that individual is priceless.