A midlands organization has found a new way to assist victims of human trafficking.
In 2017, 118 survivors were found in South Carolina. A mother of two, Tricia Besley understands human trafficking is a problem.
"I’m aware in public places of strangers, paying attention to who is around," Besley said. "I have a special needs son that I normally put in the car, first leaving my younger in the car. I no longer do that.”
Lighthouse for Life was founded in 2014 to address the problem and provide assistance to victims of human trafficking.
Jennifer Thompson, executive director of Lighthouse for Life, says the organization is broken down into two parts.
“We have a two-fold mission. Part one is to raise awareness about human trafficking in South Carolina, and the other part is to provide services to survivors to help them find wholeness again,” Thompson said.
The organization is set to open Kari's Home, which will serve as a safe zone for the victims. The home will provide long-term care for female survivors between the ages of 12 and 21.
The home is not open yet but it is fully paid for, thanks to community donations
Thompson is happy and hopeful that Lighthouse for Life will continue to be a guiding light for victims.
“I grew up and lived in South Carolina my entire life, and to see the way the community is responding to the information that they have been given about how real this is here and how you can do something to help . . . I’m just really proud of this state,“ Thompson said.
A timetable for the opening of the home has yet to be announced.