There's hope, safe harbor for exploited children

There's hope, safe harbor for exploited children

There's hope, safe harbor for exploited children

Eight Days of Hope's refuge for girls rescued from sex trafficking is now open.

Three elegant white houses overlook the gentle, rolling hills of the open Ohio countryside. A classic-looking country church gives the compound the peaceful, calming beauty that girls recently rescued from chaos, abuse, and fear desperately need as they start their new lives.

Eight Days of Hope (EDOH) President Steve Tybor says Safe Harbor Ohio, the disaster relief ministry's passion project, started taking in girls last week.

Tybor, Steve (Eight Days of Hope) Tybor

"On the campus, each girl will have her own bedroom and bathroom," he details. "They will share the cottage with three other girls and the house mom, will have their own kitchen. So, they'll kind of live life together. There's also an accredited school on campus."

Tybor says the safe house project started about 10 years ago with his daughter, Hanna Tybor Fletcher, when she gained two adopted sisters from Taiwan and learned of the horrors of the sex trade.

"Sex trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world," the ministry president laments. "I believe God's called us to be a solution, the hands and feet of the Son, to give hope to girls who feel like no one knows they even exist."

EDOH has plans for more campuses, but Tybor says "we're nowhere close" because the need is overwhelming. As he explains it, it can take years to integrate the rescued girls back into the real world, because healing from that kind of trauma is not as simple as recovering from an illness or a broken arm.

"This crime is the fastest growing crime in the world, and to be honest, it's because of pornography," he says.

EDOH recognizes that child sex trafficking is a community problem that requires a community response, so the ministry welcomes the partnership of anyone committed to helping build a place of hope and healing for child survivors of the trade.