According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it’s a basic need to feel love and belonging. All people seek to meet this need, and many will go to great lengths to find it. Unfortunately, it’s this very real need that is preyed upon by traffickers. Not only are isolated individuals easily lured by pimps, but individuals who are trafficked and exploited are often controlled through isolation. In ACT Alberta’s 2015 Report, a survivor of sex trafficking indicated that “most women would rather be harmed than alone”.

Pimps and traffickers pose as boyfriends, parental figures, or big sisters to appeal to ones in need of belonging. They know how to meet this basic need just enough, that it can be controlled. Many traffickers do not need to use physical force, because the balance between isolation and belonging is enough to keep an individual under their command.

We spoke with an individual who was trafficked over 20 years ago. Her name is Seanne, and she indicated that she was not only isolated by her traffickers, but today she continues to feel isolated because of her story. She also shared that “after escaping my trafficker, I found myself returning to the sex industry because it was the only place I knew to look for community and belonging.”

After escaping my trafficker, I found myself returning to the sex industry because it was the only place I knew to look for community and belonging.

– Human Trafficking Survivor

CHILL hopes to provide individuals who have been exploited and trafficked with a community of safety and belonging. The idea of community isn’t a new concept, but it’s a need among individuals who have been intentionally isolated. That’s why we created CHILL community nights, where those who are marginalized or in need of community have a place to belong where we cook, eat, and build healthy and supportive connections; free of fear and shame. Having each person contribute to the meals shared give our participants dignity and ownership for their community. We have learned from other cultures the impact that simply cooking and eating together can have. We believe that we will see lives transformed through authentic connection and community. Women will develop life skills, discover healthy relationships, and have access to further support.

We encourage you to partner with us as we bring light to those who are in need of a healthy community. Recently, we’ve created a new monthly giving program that does just that. We call it GEM, and for as low as $25 per month you’ll join a collective of supporters who make sure women like Seanne still have a welcome community to go to. Become a monthly partner today.

A special thank you to our strong and courageous friend Seanne for sharing her story.

Give freedom

As low as $25 per month can provide education, community, and coaching to those who have been sexually exploited.

Donate Now

Privacy Preference Center