Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation

The woman in this photo has a story to tell - a story of survival. Originally from Zimbabwe, she was employed by an African family to care for their children. Three years ago she accompanied them to the United States and then her world fell apart. They took her passport and documents, abused her, confined her to their home, forced her to work long hours with no pay.  Fortunately, she was allowed to attend weekly church services, so she used that opportunity to find an ally who helped her escape.

Bakhita House became her transitional home for a year as she moved from trauma to recovery.  In her words, she found a new "family."  She is one of the thirty women, all victims of trafficking, who have found a new path in life while living at "the house where love heals." The staff at Bakhita House consists of three Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and a Sister of Charity - Halifax and a part time Case Manager. Bakhita House is also blessed to have a large number of volunteers, both religious women from a variety of congregations as well as lay women, who are available to assist as needed.

The mission of Bakhita House is to respond to the needs of victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in the greater Boston area.  Referred women receive emergency assistance of food and shelter, long-term housing up to a year, and access to critical and comprehensive services and programs in collaboration with service providers.  Victims rebuild their sense of self through an empowerment model in a communal setting and move from crisis to recovery.  Since 2011, the staff has made every effort to combat the evil of trafficking by providing a healing place for women who have experienced the trauma of being trafficked, as well as to provide education and awareness about the trafficking issue to the broader community.

The story is a hopeful one.  The young woman has her children, a good job, and a place to live. Bakhita House and its partnering agencies have provided the support and space so that she could lift herself of darkness into a bright new day.  This is one of many stories of women who have lived at the safe house and prepared to move to a new life with the support of Bakhita House staff and its affiliated services.


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