Human Trafficking and what to do about it: This is a topic that has been high on the radar the past few weeks, especially with the observance of National Day against Sex Trafficking. News surrounding this topic is often somber and difficult to read about. However, occasionally, there comes about a story worth celebrating–like this one: a religious charity in California has claimed victory on its years-old goal to start a Catholic home for sex-trafficked girls.
As of August 4th, a Catholic Charity in San Diego, California has started plans to open their dream home for sex-trafficked girls. For years, California officials denied this group the license to open such a home, but after filing a lawsuit against them in 2019, the Children of the Immaculate Heart (CIH) have reached an agreement on opening one.
Their home is going to shelter girls from ages 12-17 who have been victims of sex-trafficking in one form or another. Grace Williams, the founder and director of Children of the Immaculate Heart, explained how they made this work. She said, “We were able to meet the state regulations in a way that did not compromise our conscience as a Catholic agency.”
The original problem the officials had with the Children of the Immaculate Heart was their strong pro-life and anti-homosexuality stance. Licensed officials said that this was “offensive.” They told the Children of the Immaculate Heart that if they wanted to open their facility they needed to promote LGBTQ events, allow teens to get sex-altering surgery, and drive them to get abortions. Obviously, the group wouldn’t comply with any of these terms, so they figured the best thing to do was fight against these orders.
They filed a lawsuit against California, and by June 10th, the California Department of Social Services issued CIH a license that would allow them to operate their refuge as a short-term recovery home for these girls. CIH is starting now to train staff and get their refuge ready. Director Williams says about the girls they will house: “We want them to become economically self-sufficient and, of course, we want them to encounter the love of Christ, which gives meaning and direction to all of our lives, and eternal life.”