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Local organizations support sex trafficking victims, survivors

Updated September 1, 2023 - 8:45 pm

Several organizations offer help to those affected by sex trafficking. Here are four organizations that offer support and resources in the Las Vegas Valley.

The Cupcake Girls is a national organization serving people in 36 states. One of two physical branches in the country is located in Las Vegas.

More than 100 people are supported by the program, which serves consensual sex workers, sex trafficking survivors and those currently in sex trafficking situations.

Executive Director Amy-Marie Merrell said the organization has partnered with local businesses that offer free or discounted services for Cupcake Girls’ participants. Among those involved in offering services are doctors, dentists, auto mechanics and daycare providers.

“We want to make sure that folks are able to have access to resources and not be afraid of being assaulted or harassed,” Merrell said.

For more information, call 207-200-8094 or email info@thecupcakegirls.org. The organization is on Instagram @cupcakegirlsorg.

Signs of HOPE (Healing Options Prevention Education)

This nonprofit supports those affected by sexual violence and exploitation. RISE (Resources and Integration for Survivor Empowerment) is the human trafficking arm of Signs of HOPE.

Joanna Granados, client services director for RISE, said the program offers case management, a 24/7 hotline and outreach. Granados said trafficking, both sex and labor trafficking, is underreported.

“It’s dispelling the myth that it just happens on the Strip,” said Kim Small, CEO of Signs of HOPE. “It’s happening next door to you.”

To reach the organization’s 24/7 rape crisis hotline call 702-366-1640. The 24/7 human trafficking hotline can be reached at 702-936-4004. Signs of HOPE is on Instagram and Facebook @signsofhopelv and can be reached via email at community@sohlv.org.

S.A.F.E House

The agency offers a 62-bed emergency shelter in a confidential location. Executive Director Beth Flory said the agency mainly supports victims of domestic violence but there is an intersection between domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

Those in the shelter are provided with counseling, advocates to help with protective orders and court appearances and assistance in finding permanent housing.

To reach the 24/7 crisis hotline, call 702-564-3227. The outreach office can be reached at 702-451-4203.

The Shade Tree

This shelter is open 24 hours a day. It offers assistance to victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse, elder abuse and street violence, according to Jessica Shanley, who is The Shade Tree’s representative on the Southern Nevada Human Trafficking Task Force.

“Programs and services at The Shade Tree promote stability, dignity, and self-reliance, while escaping the cycle of abuse, homelessness, or violence,” Shanley said in an email.

Women with or without children and unaccompanied youth of any gender facing economic hardship without a place to live are welcome at the shelter.

For information call 702-385-0072 or email email info@theshadetree.org. To reach the 24/7 domestic violence hotline call 855-385-0072.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on X.

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