Our History Fighting Sex Trafficking
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army was founded in London, England in 1865 by husband and wife, Catherine and William Booth. The Booths went against Victorian conventions and took their ministry to the dirty and dangerous streets of London's east side where they reached out to the destitute and desperate. Their efforts eventually evolved into a battle to protect women and children from the horrors of sexual exploitation. Upon learning of the desperate needs of women and children at risk of or already caught up in organized sexual exploitation, The Salvation Army responded by opening homes for women and girls and through developing intensive relief strategies. Within thirty years, Salvation Army’s rescue homes grew from just one to an astounding one hundred and seventeen.
Now, more than a century later, The Salvation Army in the United States and abroad is part of a movement for the abolition of sex trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation. A revival of The Salvation Army's previous anti-trafficking movement began developing in the late 1990s and since that time has steadily grown. Today, The Salvation Army USA's anti-trafficking efforts focus on four core areas: legislative and policy initiatives, awareness raising and training, prevention efforts, as well as the development and provision of trafficking survivor services.
In order to further the fight against human trafficking, HavenATL was created in the Pittsburg community of Atlanta, which was a known hub for commercial sexual exploitation. This program was created in the summer of 2011 by Sandra Pawar and Hillary DeJarnett and fully implemented in 2012. This program is under The Salvation Army Atlanta Area Command and is dedicated to seeing the city of Atlanta free from commercial sexual exploitation and the damage it causes to communities, families and individuals. The community center facilitates outreach and assists with job training and education. It offers group therapy and trauma-focused counseling services as needed. Many other daily activities and resources are available as well.
HavenATL primarily provides services to young women who have faced commercial sexual exploitation. This program primarily serves women over eighteen years of age. Haven ATL is dedicated to serving women with consistent support, unfailing love, and wants to provide resources for positive change.