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Hard Conversations Are Necessary: Staff Feature

by | Aug 27, 2020

Today’s staff feature was written by Stephanie Patton. Stephanie works on our Business Development team planning events and community outreach programs. There are many things we love about Stephanie, but what we appreciate the most is her passion and drive to change the world. 

“I have the honor of presenting Rethreaded’s mission and educating the community on the facts of human trafficking. This is an important part of my job for many reasons. One of those reasons is, if you don’t know, you don’t know and you can’t do anything about it. After years of advocating for women in the community, I hear the same question being asked, how can I help? For anyone who asks this question, I have one response, have the hard conversations.


This is a hard topic. There are a lot of emotions wrapped around the thought of people suffering. Sometimes when our emotions are impacted and we see a glimpse of the darkness in this world, we avoid looking at it any further because it hurts too much.  

But What if we start acknowledging that human trafficking happens every day of the year and not just during human trafficking awareness month. Or that people are sold every single day and it’s not just a trending hashtag that comes across social media when the people we place on a pedestal decide that this is their mission for the moment. Human trafficking isn’t a trend, it’s a business and just like any other business, it is run by supply and demand. 

Let’s talk about demand. Let’s educate ourselves. Let’s teach our children about the value and worth of other human beings. Let’s teach our children to be aware of their surroundings and discuss different vulnerabilities that make us susceptible to traffickers. No one is excluded from the population of potential prey for a trafficker. Let’s have an open dialogue when it comes to the long-term effects strip clubs and pornography have on a person’s perception of healthy sexual relationships. 

When we start having the hard conversations and talking about what we are seeing, we start thinking about the people that are being exploited. When we start having the hard conversations we are acknowledging that there are people experiencing these things everyday. I know these are hard conversations and I know the topics can be uncomfortable, but what are a few minutes of being uncomfortable compared to the freedom of our youth? We can break the cycle of exploitation by having these hard conversations. 

Being open to having a hard conversation is the first step. Participating in hard conversations about human trafficking can feel uncomfortable and that’s okay! When we sit in that discomfort with an open mind, growth is possible.

Unsure about how to start a hard conversation? Ask the person you want to talk to if they are willing and open to the hard discussion. If they are ready, that’s great. You can start by sharing resources from Rethreaded, Polaris Project, and The Blue Campaign. Offer to read through the materials with them. By taking the time to review the information together you are showing others that we are not alone in talking about human trafficking. Together, we can make a difference and change the world.

If you want to learn more about human trafficking, check out these blog posts written by Rethreaded staff: 

Top Signs of Human Trafficking

The 5 Worst Things To Say To A Survivor 

4 Myths about Human Trafficking 

What Is Human Trafficking

Quick Links

Wanna Help?

Take the pledge and become an advocate for human trafficking survivors

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We challenge every individual and business to take the pledge to train themselves on how to spot and report human trafficking

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Springfield Saturday

Hello Springfield! Come on down for a day of shopping, toffee tasting, and touring our space. Enjoy a community brunch with neighbors, and get the first pick of our seasonal items… all while supporting survivors of human trafficking.

Next Upcoming Event

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Birthday Party

Come celebrate Rethreaded's birthday and support survivors. There will be fun, games, raffles, tasty treats, and much more! We celebrate each year with a fresh theme and plenty of surprises, so be sure to stop in and help us celebrate another incredible year!

Come celebrate Rethreaded's birthday! There will be fun, games, raffles, tasty treats, and much more! We celebrate each year with a fresh theme and plenty of surprises, so be sure to stop in and help us celebrate another incredible year!

Mom’s Night Out

Enjoy reconnection, rejuvenation, and the opportunity to make a difference. This event is designed to uplift and empower moms while supporting a great cause. 

Engage in refreshing activities, enjoy specialty treats, and revel in a community of women determined to support one another through thick and thin.

This is a special event meant to engage moms with refreshing activities, specialty treats, and connections with other moms in the area.

Cocktails For A Cause

Meet with other Realtors in your area while you enjoy cocktails, networking, exclusive toffee tasting, and a personalized shopping experience while contributing to the care and support of survivors of human trafficking.

Are you in the real estate industry and looking to expand your professional network? Our Cocktails for a Cause event connects relators, interior designers, contractors, and other real estate industry professionals here in Jacksonville. You'll not only get the opportunity to network but also here from industry experts.

Women Empowering Women

Connect, uplift, and support survivors of human trafficking. Enjoy hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and Rethreaded’s unique upcycled products. Take part in authentic breakout group discussions about how to value and intentionally use your time. 

Proceeds from ticket sales provide employment, holistic care, and services for women in Rethreaded’s Survivor Development Program.

Connect with other women at our Women Empowering Women events. You'll have the opportunity to take part in authentic breakout group discussions and network with like-minded women in our community.

Mukti Freedom Gala

Join us for our largest annual fundraiser. Enjoy a champagne welcome, hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, seated dinner, silent and live auctions, entertainment, and dancing. 

As always, proceeds from this event go directly toward supporting survivors of human trafficking.

Our Mukti Gala is our largest annual fundraiser that helps us provide the resources needed for the survivor's development program. We would love your support at our next Mukti- which means "freedom" in Bengali - and help change lives with us. Plus, if you have the opportunity to join us in the festivities you'll get to enjoy an open bar, seated dinner, silent and live auctions, entertainment, dancing and so much more!

Human Trafficking Educational Panel

Join us as we discuss human trafficking prevention, dispel myths, and learn how to empower survivors. Experts will share their insights, experience, and perspective. Ticket proceeds support survivor care, support, and education.

Want to learn more about human trafficking prevention, dispel myths, and how you can empower survivors? Join us at one of our Human Trafficking Educational Panels where experts share their insights, experiences, and perspectives.