You can help survivors
Published 10:31 pm Monday, March 11, 2019
The work of a local woman who saw the horrors of human trafficking during her work as a lawyer is having a big impact on others who are in need of healing.
Dana Wynn Steele, founder of Angel’s Hands at the Ranch, has put a lot of time, effort and money into her venture on the 22-acre ranch in rural Suffolk. But it’s all worth it to help victims of human trafficking and those who are in danger of being trafficked.
Traffickers exploit 24.9 million children and adults across the world, according to traffickinginstitute.org. They coerce their victims into forced labor or sex work and profit from their crimes in excess of $150 billion annually.
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Many people may not realize how big of a problem human trafficking is in America. But while it may seem to be a problem that’s far from home, it is unfortunately happening everywhere.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported more than 5,000 human trafficking cases in 2018. The victims were mostly females, and the majority were sex trafficked.
American women and young girls — some as young as 11 — are trafficked from big cities and small towns, according to angelshandsatheranch.org. There are victims in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. territories.
Steele became involved in the issue about 10 years ago through her role as an attorney, where she was representing children who were brought to the United States for trafficking purposes or who were trafficked after they arrived.
She founded her nonprofit in 2016 and since then has helped more than a dozen women at the ranch with education, counseling, job skills and more. Her husband and others have been a big part of the effort, which has helped women ranging from 18 to 30.
Women at the ranch do chores and care for animals, which are also a part of their therapy. The animals range from horses and goats to cats and a rabbit.
One woman who was helped at the ranch talked to the News-Herald about her experience and was thankful for Steele’s help.
There’s a way you can help, too. Angel’s Hands at the Ranch is supported through monetary donations, as well as donations of supplies like senior horse feed, horse rice bran, dog food, single-bed sheets and towels. Visit angelshandsranch.org for more information.