Restored Wings (RW), A Home for Healing
sex trafficking during major events and conferences

Nebraska: A High-Risk Area for Human Trafficking

Local residents are often stifled when they are told that Nebraska is at high-risk for trafficking. There are many misconceptions about human trafficking that lead Nebraskans to think that their state is safe from this heinous criminal industry. A popular reasoning is that it is thought that it doesn’t happen in small towns. In fact, according to DataPandas, Nebraska ranks 4th in the United States and here’s why.

Geographic Location and Transportation Infrastructure

Nebraska’s strategic location at the crossroads of major interstate highways, such as Interstate 80, makes it a significant transit hub for traffickers. These highways facilitate the movement of trafficked individuals, allowing perpetrators to transport victims across state lines with ease. The state’s extensive network of highways simplifies the logistics for traffickers, making it a high-risk area for human trafficking.

“Data from the Women’s Fund of Omaha indicates that commercial sex trafficking affects nearly every town and city along Interstate 80.”

State of Nebraska Geographic Location and Transportation Infrastructure

Labor Trafficking in Agricultural and Meatpacking Industries

Nebraska’s agricultural and meatpacking industries play a substantial role in making it a high-risk area for labor trafficking. The state’s rural areas and the demand for low-wage labor create conditions ripe for exploitation. Migrant workers, undocumented immigrants, and individuals facing economic hardship are particularly vulnerable. Traffickers exploit these populations for forced labor, leveraging their vulnerabilities and lack of legal protections.

Sex Trafficking in Urban Centers

Urban centers in Nebraska, including Omaha and Lincoln, heighten the risk of sex trafficking, particularly during major events and conferences. These cities attract large crowds, increasing the demand for commercial sex. The anonymity provided by bustling city environments and the transient nature of event attendees exacerbate the challenge of identifying and combating sex trafficking. This makes Nebraska’s urban centers a high-risk area for this form of trafficking.

Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Nebraska

Despite these challenges, Nebraska is actively working to combat human trafficking through a multi-faceted approach. The Nebraska Human Trafficking Taskforce (NHTTF), a collaboration of law enforcement agencies, service providers, and community organizations, is at the forefront of these efforts. The NHTTF focuses on raising awareness, strengthening legislation, and providing comprehensive support services for victims.

By coordinating efforts, enhancing the capabilities of local law enforcement, and implementing prevention strategies, the NHTTF addresses the root causes of trafficking and facilitates the prosecution of traffickers. Community education programs organized by the taskforce inform the public about the signs of trafficking and how to report suspicious activities. Legislative initiatives also aim to toughen penalties for traffickers and improve protections for victims. Through these combined efforts, Nebraska is making significant strides in reducing its high-risk status for trafficking and safeguarding vulnerable individuals from exploitation.

Support and Healing for Survivors

For those who have survived trafficking, the road to recovery is challenging, but organizations like Restored Wings offer a guiding light of hope. Restored Wings, previously known as Rejuvenating Women, began as the first home for healing and restoration in Nebraska, providing both short and long-term therapeutic treatment programs specifically designed for survivors of human trafficking.

Residents at Restored Wings receive comprehensive services, including trauma counseling, case management, free tattoo branding removal, and legal assistance. The organization also focuses on education, financial literacy, job training, and life skills to empower women to thrive independently. Recognizing the profound impact of trafficking on young girls, Restored Wings is soon opening the state’s first facility dedicated to underaged girls.

Human trafficking takes a severe toll on its victims, leaving them feeling powerless and stripped of control over their lives. Through the dedicated support and its tailored programs, survivors in Nebraska can reclaim their lives, heal from their traumas, and thrive.

Ways to Support Restored Wings

Restored Wings relies on the generosity of donors to provide survivors with the support and tools needed to build a brighter future. Monthly donations help to provide a sustainable flow for the recovery home, therapeutic programming, mental health & counseling services, educational, and mentoring services for each individual served. Legacy gifts and donations of stocks are also accepted and make a world of difference to the lives of Restored Wings program participants. Visit the Restored Wings donate page to give today.

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