Valleydale Church Women’s Ministry is inviting its fellow women’s ministries in the Metro Birmingham area to get involved in drawing awareness to the hidden atrocities of human trafficking in Birmingham. The event, called (Re)Abolish Night, will be held on April 13 at 6 p.m. to promote the ministry of The Wellhouse.
The Wellhouse is a nonprofit rescue and recovery organization for women who are victims of human trafficking and prostitution. It provides a saf, residential environment to sexually exploited women and offers them spiritual, emotional and physical support services.
“We want to bring awareness to the problem of human sex trafficking and we want to promote the wonderful ministry of The Wellhouse,” Amy Harris, the organizer of the (Re)Abolish Night event, said. “We also we want to give practical ways that churches can partner with and provide support to this organization. I have a 15-year-old daughter the same age as many of these young victims and I realize that this could so easily be anyone’s child. ”
(Re)Abolish Night will feature a presentation of a 20-minute video called “The Wellhouse – I-20: The Sex Trafficking Superhighway.” A panel discussion will follow, featuring Tajuan McCarthy, founder and executive director of The Wellhouse. At 15 years old, McCarthy said she was sexually exploited by her “boyfriend turned pimp.” She was trafficked to Birmingham so many times that it eventually became her home. After escaping this dangerous life, she became a passionate advocate for victims of trafficking. Other panel members include Alexa Jones, development director for The Wellhouse, and “Rachel,” another trafficking survivor.
Harris said raising awareness of the problem of sexual trafficking is the main goal of the event. Additionally, proceeds raised from ticket sales and a specially designed (Re)Abolish T-shirt will benefit The Wellhouse.
“This is a very heavy topic and we don’t want people to go away from this event feeling downhearted,” Harris continued. “We want to offer hope that we can help bring justice to this situation and we want to celebrate the lives that have already been redeemed. Awareness is the first step.”
Tickets for the event are $10 and are on sale now through the Valleydale Church website, valleydale.org.