Sunday, May 22, 2022

Weir: Sex trafficking — modern day slavery

Bob Weir and Abby Germer, photo and video by Netsky Rodriguez

Human sex trafficking is a dark and sinister industry that abuses and exploits women of all ages. After the degradation of being sold into a life of abuse, a woman who is rescued from a trafficker is left with many years of past trauma and oftentimes, substance abuse issues. Human trafficking is the business of stealing freedom for profit. In some cases, traffickers trick, defraud or physically force victims into providing commercial sex. In other cases, victims are lied to, assaulted, threatened or manipulated into working under inhumane, illegal, or otherwise unacceptable conditions. It’s a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to about 25 million people around the world.

“Refuge for Women” is a non-profit, faith based organization providing specialized long-term care for women who have escaped human trafficking or sexual exploitation. With multiple locations across the U.S., Refuge for Women offers up to twelve months of safe housing, at no charge to the resident, with around the clock care as clients progress through evidence-based, trauma-informed programming. The compassionate staff is trained to help residents work through the program to reclaim their identities and reach their goals to overcome addictions, heal from trauma and develop life skills leading to healthy, balanced living and financial independence. Refuge for Women strives to help each woman complete the program with a vision for her future, equipped to succeed and sustain a life marked with dignity and hope.

Abby Germer has been passionate about Human Trafficking since 2009 when she found herself in the middle of helping women in the Red Light District in Mumbai, India. From there she has spent her time serving and giving back to women who have been exploited. She was on the startup team for Refuge for Women North Texas in 2015 where she originally served as Board Chairman. In 2016, Abby came on staff as Program Director and currently serves as City Director. Her years of experience in both non-profit work and walking alongside survivors has helped her insight and made her passionate about this cause, when it comes to Human Trafficking. She has been married to her husband, Jon, for 18 years and has two girls, Trinity and Kamryn. They currently live in Argyle, Texas and spend most of their time raising two active girls and their extracurricular activities.

Recently, my wife Annette and I were invited to a breakfast meeting of Refuge for Women at the Glory of Zion Church in Corinth, Texas. Our dear friend Kathy Parker, who is a strong supporter of the organization, had us as guests at her table and introduced us to Abby. There must be a special place in Heaven for those with the heartfelt compassion to give so much of themselves in service to those who can’t escape their circumstances alone. After hearing some of the poignant stories of sexual exploitation, from some of those who were rescued, I offered the following very important interview with Ms. Germer. For more info:

Bob Weir
Bob Weir is a former NYPD officer, long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.

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