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The Power of Choice

by | Sep 27, 2022

*Trigger Warning – This content contains talk related to sexual assault.

When you look at a person walking the streets, what do you think? Do you think that person could be making better choices? Do you think that person has chosen to be in that type of life? Do you think about what this person’s actual options are?

How We Define Human Trafficking

Sex trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain a sex act for profit. A trafficker will assess a person’s vulnerability and exploit that vulnerability with any one of those tactics. Homelessness, hunger, mental illness, drug, and alcohol addiction are all incredible vulnerabilities. Florida Statute 787.06, Schedule I or Schedule II 0S.893.03 states that the provision of drugs and alcohol to obtain an act falls under the element of coercion. The general idea that a person is kidnapped and sold into the sex trade is a misconception that has to be taken off the table. Only 5% of human trafficking cases are kidnappings, and the other 95% are a person’s vulnerabilities being exploited. This includes pimp trafficking and survival prostitution. Survival prostitution is when a trafficker/pimp is not involved, and the purchaser becomes the exploiter. This is where the world is no longer black and white, but the gray area begins to take over.

The Hazy Path to Self-Actualization

Self-actualization is a desire to become the most that one can be. This is the top tier of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and something I believe most humans strive for, but how do you get there? The path to self-actualization begins with a person’s physiological needs being met. Physiological needs are fundamental, air, water, food, shelter, sleep, and clothing. A person whose basic needs are met moves toward self-actualization, but what about those whose physiological needs are not met? This is where we see the power of choice taken away and survival techniques move in.

Take a second to sit back and erase every circumstance of your current life; imagine this; you’re homeless and hungry. You meet a person and confide in them your situation; they promptly agree to give you somewhere to stay and ensure that you are fed. What decisions would you make? For the sake of this exercise, let’s say you choose to go with them. This person has now housed you and fed you; then they make a request or demand that you exchange sex for money. What goes through your mind? Do you feel indebted to them for the things they have provided? Do you feel like you have no choice but to perform the sex act they request? Or are you so terrified of being hungry and homeless again that you perform the act out of survival? What do you do?

This example may seem extreme, but for many who have experienced exploitation, it is situations like this that leave them vulnerable. When we assume that a person is making a wrong decision, we also assume there is a better decision to make. So while we look at that person walking down the street and think they have made bad decisions, let us redirect our thoughts to the idea that they may be doing their best to survive.

How Do You Restore the Power of Choice?

At Rethreaded, our goal is to allow a survivor the space to achieve self-actualization. The first step is meeting those fundamental physiological needs, followed by meeting safety needs; security, employment, resources, health, and property. This is the second tier of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Love​,​ and belonging, the third tier in Maslow’s pyramid, is represented by the community and culture we strive to create. When a survivor is given access to resources that meet their physiological needs and safety needs, when they feel the love and belonging of community and connection, this leads to esteem, which is the fourth tier in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Give a survivor respect, self-esteem, status, recognition, strength, and freedom, and you allow them to achieve self-actualization. 

Edification of one’s self is achievable, but edification through community empowers the individual being edified. How do you restore the power of choice and provide a person with the tools necessary to achieve self-actualization? Change perspective on choice, asking the right questions, and giving opportunities allow us to be a part of a community that edifies those who can’t do it themselves.

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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.