In December of 2011, Out of Darkness launched Atlanta’s first 24/7 rescue hotline. Trained volunteers take calls from and rescue women and girls who are seeking an escape from commercially exploitative circumstances. After retrieving a victim, Out of Darkness then coordinates with other organizations like Wellspring Living and Solomon House, which provide residential and non-residential rehabilitative treatment to victims of sex trafficking. The hotline serves victims of sex trafficking as well as concerned citizens, family, and friends.
The hotline, inherited from Princess Night (a ministry of Atlanta Dream Center), went live on December 19, 2011 as a non-vanity number: 404-941-6024. Because many victims call from phones that do not have lettered keypads (like hotel room phones and some payphones) and it may be safer for them to dial an inconspicuous number on a cell phone that lists call records, a non-vanity number was chosen as the best option.
An Out of Darkness representative explained that the organization plans to work alongside agencies like Polaris Project and Seattle Against Slavery to track call volume, demographics, and the locations of phone calls; however, rescue takes precedent over information gathering. The hotline is connected to four homes, three of which are dedicated to women exiting commercial sexual exploitation. Out of Darkness expects to add three more homes by February.
Currently, Out of Darkness is in its early stages. Its greatest needs from the community reflect the needs of the entire effort to end trafficking throughout the nation: donations and volunteers. The faith-based organization hopes to use donations to upgrade its free phone service to a more efficient commercial phone service and increase its office space to accommodate a growing corps of volunteers and interns. Volunteers – particularly male volunteers – from all geographical regions in Georgia are needed to participate in as many rescues as possible.
On January 27 and 28, Out of Darkness will host a volunteer training for those wanting to get involved. To learn more about Out of Darkness and find out how to volunteer, visit their website by clicking HERE.
Out of Darkness Hotline: (404) 941-6024
Human Trafficking Resource Hotline: 1-888-3737-888
Georgia Care Connection: 404-602-0068
Trafficking in Persons Task Force Complaint Line: 888-428-7581
Dear John Human Trafficking Hotline: 404-379-3602
Shared Hope Hotline: 866-HER-LIFE (866-437-5433)
This article was originally posted on meetjustice.org.