This is our Founder + CEO Gemma.
It was through her 5+ years of volunteering in human trafficking, and learning 30-40 survivors were turned away each month from just one safe house, that sparked a fire saying more had to be done. She put herself in places to meet with the right people and ask the hard questions and the answer was always the same - a lack of awareness and funding.
Marrying her marketing and fashion background with her determination to support survivors to live a free life, she launched Advocate [The Label], with a vision to raise enough funds so that no survivor is ever turned away from safe shelter and the option to live a free life.
Human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide, with an estimated 4.8 million victims in forced sexual exploitation globally. Of those victims, 1 million are children, with the average age of entry being just 11-14 years old. The growing trend of traffickers using online social media platforms to recruit and advertise targets has made it easier than ever to gain access to vulnerable children and teens.
The United States is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking, and California - with one of the highest rates of reported cases nationwide - consistently ranks as one of the worst offenders.
Although there’s a heroic effort being launched at the front end of the issue, there’s much less focus on the long-term health and success of victims, which has led to a dismal survivor to thriver rate.
Lack of funding and awareness means that survivors are left without viable pathways to success, and without strategic attention, the need for prosecution and survivor services will only increase.
What We Do
Advocate [The Label] is an apparel line dedicated to moving the needle from survivor to thriver for the victims of human trafficking.
We design high-end ethical clothing that directly impacts survivor success through mission-driven product. In fact, 100% of profits support survivors by providing:
- Safe shelter, where survivors can heal and find restoration;
- Whole-person holistic services such as trauma-informed therapy, mentorship and individualized life skills so they can flourish as they move away from a life of exploitation; and
- Pathways into education and employment to generate a strong life purpose and gain financial independence for long-term success.
How Do We Do It
The Center For Justice and Reconciliation at PLNU leads nationally recognized research projects, community leadership and educational outreach. They run several programs that not only provide pathways into education and employment for survivors, including full college scholarships, but also a program called KNOW More, that goes into middle and high schools and helps young people recognize the red flags and vulnerabilities around trafficking and equips them to take action for themselves and their peers.
Although Covid-19 has currently halted the in-person program, the silver lining has been the creation of an online version that will be rolled out later this year. This means we can reach more schools, more students, and ultimately stop the abuse before it happens.
Find out more here.
The San Diego Family Justice Center is part of the Office of the City Attorney, and provides walk in services for both victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking.
City Attorney, Mara Elliott, has prioritized protecting the most vulnerable victims of violence and exploitation and is dedicated in the fight against human trafficking. There is now a safe place for survivors at the Family Justice Center where they provide counseling, workforce readiness support, legal advice, and other assistance to help victims break free from a life of violence and go from survivor, to thriver.
Find out more here.
At ADVOCATE [The Label] we provide an entry for advocate's just like you to get involved in the anti-trafficking movement, and a vehicle to raise funds for the most critical services for survivors.
So join us, because together, we do more good 🖤