For The Jonah Project, advocacy plays a pivotal role in our process. We see Compassionate Advocacy as a basic need for all human beings. It doesn’t have to be complicated; sometimes, advocacy just means someone to walk through life with. Our team of advocates work every day on school campuses, in teen homes, and through outreach to ensure the women and children in our community KNOW that we love them, and that we will do whatever it takes to keep them safe and help them discover that the world is actually waiting for what they can deliver; both their talents and their precious hearts.
For a victim of trauma or a trafficking survivor, advocacy is especially necessary as the vast majority of people they will encounter in their lives will have no idea what kind of toll this trauma has taken on them. An advocate’s job BEGINS there. By walking alongside a survivor. By ensuring that they have access to resources so that they might be able to navigate life with the same opportunities as anyone else.
What is an Advocate?
An advocate can be the person to which a person turns when they are stressed and feel like they can’t go on. An advocate can be someone who ensures that other resource providers truly provide what they promised, AND do so safely, with the survivor’s freedom and best interests in mind. In all of this, the advocate holds the hand of a damaged human being and expresses God’s LOVE through Transformative Compassion. Many times this means the person an advocate has to convince most that they are worth this second chance at life, is the survivor themselves. This can be a long walk, but there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a human being restored to Life.
Our Advocacy Process
Our advocacy process begins the moment we get a call on our Rescue Line. Whether we are assisting a school counselor with placement for an at-risk youth or our Relo Team briefs to go and help a victim out of darkness, we believe we must place the victim’s safety and health first. This depends on many partner-groups coming together to provide the best resources possible for the survivor to enable restoration. This includes mental health services, spiritual guidance, medical exams, outreach projects with friends, housing, meals and clothing, GED/diploma assistance, help with financial planning, navigating court appointments, and even reintegration into their families!
Because slavery is truly an issue that plagues our entire community, advocacy may be the most important aspect of what we will ever do in this fight for freedom.
Anyone can be an advocate – your heart and compassion for these young people will be the key in any type of long-term impact for our community.