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Center for Global Justice Intern – Elissa Polley

Elissa Polley, 3L
Intern at Traffick 911

Seven years is a number of completion in the bible.  It is a number that usually evokes a positive response from the faith community.  Yet in the world of human trafficking the number seven represents a very different and frightening statistic. Seven years is the average life expectancy for a victim of human trafficking.  

I have spent the past few weeks in Texas working with an organization called Traffick 911.  We are working to bring awareness regarding the sexual slavery that America’s children are being forced into. We are working to rescue these children through a united effort with law enforcement and juvenile detention centers across the state of Texas and the U.S.  Finally, we are working to restore those child victims of trafficking who have been rescued by placing them in a restoration home where they can receive specialized care and the love of Christ.  Specifically, I am working on reopening a case for a young survivor who was trafficked at the age of 13.  

My hope and prayer is that the courts will agree to take another look at this case that was missing some critical evidence in its first trial.  Evidence that this child is a victim and not a criminal.  Currently, our judicial system is having a hard time identifying these children as victims of trafficking, and instead are sending them to juvenile detention.  

I am also working to train volunteers on legislative advocacy in order to tighten the laws to reflect the need to recognize these children as victims and not criminals.  As I spend time at the restoration home, I am so encouraged. One of the children stood up in front of a group we were training and reminded them that she is moving forward in life and is not going to be a victim anymore, but a survivor!  I am honored and excited for what the remainder of the internship holds!