Following an FBI prostitution sting in July 2013 that rescued more than 100 children from sex trafficking and resulted in the arrest of 150 people describe as pimps, Channel 6 dug deeper into the situation. Many local service organizations told Channel 6 their main goal in Omaha is to help those recovering from sex trafficking or prostitution.
Organizations, including The Women’s Center For Advancement, Youth Emergency Services, and The Salvation Army Wellspring Program, said they help men and women escape prostitution or survival sex. The organizations offer assistance such as education, food, shelter, and job search help.
Organizers said the idea is to give men and women who’ve experienced a life of prostitution or survival sex the opportunity at a second chance. They said most people involved in prostitution did not choose that lifestyle, but were rather lured into it, often continuing the act as an adult because it is too intimidating to leave.
They also explained the court system is also evolving, and looking at prostitutes more as victims rather than criminals, because they know often, they were brought into the profession through child sex trafficking. They said many judges will give prostitutes lower sentences, or only charge them for drugs, and recommend that they seek help through one of the organizations.
On several occasions, organizations said the FBI will bring in sex trafficking victims, or prostitutes straight to the center to receive help, in hopes of bettering them and getting them back on track. They said often times, the men or women can then help testify against the person who trafficked or lured them into the business.
Each organization encouraged any men or women who are involved in prostitution or being trafficked to seek help at their locations spread across Omaha. The contact information is in the sidebar to the right, click the name of the organization to visit their webpage.