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International Sanctuary's Fight Against Human Trafficking. Over a Decade of Commitment.

It was 2005 when I found myself living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia confronted on a daily basis with girls for sale. Human Trafficking was so prevalent- in restaurants, tea shops, five star hotels, everywhere I looked. I couldn’t escape the horror as the images burned in my memory. I had to do something.

As soon as I got back, I teamed up with Stephanie Pollaro to found International Sanctuary, an organization bringing hope, dignity, and economic freedom to girls and women escaping trafficking. Never did I imagine it would grow into a global organization working with women in four regions around the world.

The fight against human trafficking is certainly not for the faint of heart. Over a decade later, the fight is just as tough as the day we began. For those who consider themselves part of the fight against human trafficking, thank you. You know the dedication, commitment, sacrifice, and perseverance required. Individuals recovering from severe trauma have a lifelong journey of healing ahead of them, and they deserve everything that they require. The investment in these relationships leads to hope, dignity, and true freedom!

We are so proud of Annabel*, Shayla*, and Veronica* who have grown to embrace their true identity and worth. Veronica* has transformed from hiding her head in shame to feeling empowered and confident as she lives her life in absolute freedom. But not everyday is a celebration of hope and freedom. There are days, weeks, months, even years when you don’t feel you’re making a difference. It is in those moments that I remember Roosevelt’s quote:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong woman stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends herself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if she fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

-Roosevelt, The Man (Woman) in the Arena

For those who are considering to join the fight, first weigh the costs. The fight against human trafficking is a long and brutual batte. With that said, I don’t know anything I’d rather spend my life doing. We welcome all who want to join the fight to end trafficking!

-Wendy Dailey, International Sanctuary, Co-founder 9/2019

*Names have been changed to keep anonymity

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