Official 2019 IGNITE Office Space Contestant, Rebecca Cary with Hands of Justice
Year Established: 2017
Outreach Type: Awareness/education, outreach and restorative services
Give a brief history of your nonprofit’s story. Please include how and why it was established, and who has been involved.
I am a survivor of domestic sex trafficking. I was trafficked when I was 21 years old for 2 years. Because of my experiences my life continued to spiral out of control over the next 14 years even though I was no longer being trafficked. I first heard the term “Human Trafficking” when I was sitting in a college class that I had enrolled in. I had no idea this was what had happened to me nor that it was happening to millions of other people around the world. I researched the subject and was just horrified at the numbers and the lack of education. I knew at that moment I wanted to help make a difference in the lives of people just like me however, I knew I needed to get my life together first. I enrolled in a 30 day program and walked out of there a different person. Within 6 months I had enrolled in the Thrive Justice School in Pattaya Thailand. I and 45 other individuals around the globe were accepted into the program. I traveled to Thailand for 5 weeks and immersed back into the very thing I had been running from for so long. However, in the process I learned about intervention, rescue, restoration, and release concerning human trafficking. I, also, worked with young survivors doing outreach. I returned home to Texas and immediately started paperwork to form a non profit in order to help educate teens on human trafficking. However, within the last two years we have gone through major growth and changes. We have added adults volunteers to our program, started training sessions for the community and opened a Survivor program.
I now hold the survivor position on the board for Montgomery County Coalition Against Human Trafficking and am also a member of the Survivor Expert Advisory Committee (SEAC) with the Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition.
My husband and the ladies on my advisory board have been heavily involved in keeping Hands of Justice focused and on point. Our many volunteers have been amazing as well.
What outreach or services does your nonprofit offer?
We have several services within Hands of Justice. We provide training/educational sessions in the community. This includes churches, schools, social and political groups, etc. We also try and partner with at least 1 other anti-trafficking non profit as often as we can and provide a way for the community to get involved in helping those in trafficking. This can include anything from holding a food/clothing drive for survivors to participating in the A21 Walk for Freedom.
Our newest service is our Survivor program. This targets trafficking individuals that are looking to continue their education. We provide year round scholarships to survivors that are wanting to get their GED or start vocational training or College. We have helped several survivors since January be able to continue to restore their lives. This winter we are looking to partner with Shield Bearer Counseling Centers in order to start Survivor led support groups in the Montgomery area.
What is your ultimate goal for your nonprofit?
We want to reach as many people as we can through education, provide ways for the community to get involved and help support survivors as they look for ways to continue forward in their healing journey.
– Rebecca Cary, Founder/President of Hands of Justice