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Magdalene House Omaha to help human trafficking survivors

Posted: 5:20 PM, Oct 14, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-14 18:20:36-04

In the past five years, law enforcement has identified 200 victims of human trafficking here in the Omaha metro, and they know there are more.

There are efforts to bring awareness and teach people how to spot signs of sex abuse and trafficking, and to create a statewide system to provide services to those victims.

One of those services would be the Magdalene House Omaha, a safe place for survivors to go.

During a training session for human trafficking at Nebraska Methodist College, the founder of Magdalene house spoke to the group.

Becca Stevens is from Tennessee but wants to build a Magdalene home here that would help women who are survivors of trafficking, addiction, and prostitution.

“The Magdalene and Thistle Farm community is not a halfway house, it’s not a shelter, it is not a prison, it is a community,” said Stevens.

The program provides therapy, comfort, and even work through the Thistle Farm bath and body company.

“I have been raped, beat more times than I can count,” said survivor Lori Wright, she credits the Magdalene house with saving her life.

“I have five years clean come May 2nd, I’ll have 5 years clean and sober and living a good life.”

The house would also help bring awareness to the haunting world of human trafficking that exists in the Omaha area

“This is a huge issue, we know there are hundreds if not thousands of victims within the Omaha metro area, and we know we need to get ahead of this,” said Forensic Nurse at Methodist, Ann Boatright. 

Stevens said they heal through love and giving opportunities to thrive.

“It’s that long-term housing for free model that really makes a difference,” she said.

Wright said she shares her story at training sessions like this because it may just help someone else.

“I think it’s important for our communities to know what to look for and learn ways to help and reach out and save another humans life.”

On Saturday there will be kick-off celebration to raise funds for the Magdalene house. So far they are still raising money for they get a house.

The event is at 6pm at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.