Freedom Firm seeks to eliminate child prostitution in India by providing rescue, restoration, and justice for victims of sex trafficking. We accomplish this by identifying victims and perpetrators of sex trafficking, mobilizing law enforcement agencies to rescue victims and arrest perpetrators, assisting the legal system during prosecution, and enabling rescued girls to engage in effective rehabilitation. We believe we can accomplish this vision with such excellence that eventually there will be no need for Freedom Firm.
All three components are vital to the goal of ending sex trafficking in India.
The first step in ending trafficking is to rescue the girls. Freedom Firm deploys a team of undercover investigators who follow leads and monitor red light areas throughout India that have a high incidence of sex trafficking.
Using hidden cameras, our investigators identify minor victims as well as the brothel keepers, pimps, and traffickers. They document the crime, and then submit this information to the police. With assistance from Freedom Firm, the police raid the brothels and rescue the girls. The police arrest the perpetrators and Freedom Firm’s legal team files criminal complaints against them.
By partnering with local authorities, Freedom Firm is able to make sure the girls have legal standing and are represented fully as justice is sought.
After rescue, each girl is placed in a local government remand home pending an inquiry into her home environment. Freedom Firm’s Regional Aftercare Program has a team of social workers who closely follow each rescued girl as she moves through the government process. Our social workers provide ongoing counseling, facilitate medical care, and provide access to education and employment. This ensures that each girl is given the tools she needs for a life of self-worth and self-reliance outside of prostitution.
Freedom Firm’s holistic aftercare program not only facilitates each girl’s emotional, physical, and spiritual healing, but also equips her practically for a future of self-sufficiency and independence. Our aftercare programs include individual counseling, job training, as well as outdoor adventures and activities. Each of these programs helps to bring about a new found sense of self-worth and self-confidence.
Ruhamah Designs is Freedom Firm’s micro-jewelry enterprise which works to employ women who have been rescued from sex trafficking. The majority of rescued women were trafficked as children, and they often have little to no education and few marketable skills. Ruhamah Designs was created to provide rescued women with a viable, sustainable occupation and an opportunity to start a fresh life.
Ruhamah Designs is a reverse business model that revolves around our employees, focusing on their needs and abilities. Ruhamah enables the women to have a source of income that is sufficient to meet their needs and the needs of their family. Honest hard work lends a sense of dignity and pride as they help themselves instead of depending on charity. In addition to improving their physical well being, Ruhamah enhances the women’s emotional well being. Through the creation of beautiful pieces of jewelry, they can find color and beauty in the midst of their own confusion and emotional trauma. The result is a beautiful work of art.
For more information about Ruhamah Designs please visit ruhamah.in
As part of Freedom Firm’s aftercare program, Leg Up provides positive growth for victims of forced prostitution through assisting with horse therapy for children with disabilities. Situated in the mountains of southern India, we take advantage of both the beauty of God’s creation and the unique social and emotional instincts of horses to provide opportunities for healing in a hands-on setting.
For more information about Leg Up please visit legupindia.org
Avalanche Camp gives us a tremendous opportunity to work in the lives of rescued girls. Most of the girls rescued from the commercial sex trade come from hot cities and garbage strewn brothels and have never been to a camp in their lives. They have been the object of hate, violence, degradation and abuse. The camp gives us an opportunity to treat them with love and provide an environment to have pure, healthy fun, surrounded by the beauty of mountains, lakes and streams.
Freedom Firm is fervently fighting to create systemic change in India through the consistent application of the laws against trafficking. Once girls are rescued, our legal team works with local police to build a case against the perpetrators. Our lawyers monitor each case closely, they help prepare witnesses, and assist at trial. We pursue each case through the judicial process until a verdict is reached. Rescued girls testify against their perpetrators helping bring them to the final step of achieving justice.
At Freedom Firm, we believe it is vital to bring justice through conviction. When traffickers are imprisoned for the crimes they commit they are unable to continue in those crimes and a message goes out to all those engaged in similar practices. This creates a strong deterrent to further trafficking.
Laws in India prohibit the exploitation of minors in prostitution but there is a huge gap between the law and its implementation. Freedom Firm is working to close that gap. Each time a brothel keeper is convicted, other perpetrators realize that trafficking minor girls will not be tolerated.
Freedom Firm works to achieve convictions by assisting public prosecutors at each stage of the legal process. The average court case takes more than two years to reach a verdict. Each case is unique, requiring a great deal of patience, persistence and effort. Freedom Firm social workers stay in regular contact with rescued girls, traveling throughout India to visit and counsel girls, ensuring that they are safe, and preparing them for testimony.
Problems that regularly arise; postponed court dates, brothel keepers not obeying a summons, defense advocates devising delay tactics, apathetic or uninformed officials, and at worst, corruption leading to irresponsible and damaging acquittals. All of these challenges are handled by the experienced legal team. Freedom Firm’s legal team works alongside local advocates, partnering with them to continually stay abreast of court dates and requirements. Perhaps most importantly the Freedom Firm team coordinates the task of finding and bringing rescued girls to court so they can then testify against their abusers and help bring them to justice.
In spite of all the obstacles, we have seen tremendous legal success. Through the hard work of our tenacious legal team, Freedom Firm has achieved 9 convictions of brothel keepers and traffickers in seven cases. Each conviction resulted in a sentence of either five or seven years in prison. While some cases have resulted in acquittals, these obstacles have not discouraged our team because even acquittals represent an enormous cost to the traffickers.