I sit with many incredible boys, girls, and young adults before they are free and after the rescue. The one consistent thing I hear about what kept them fighting in the middle of their pain is their love for their children.
“What kept you fighting in the darkest moments?” I asked an American mother of two children. She told me, “My great love for my daughter and son is what made me never give up! My trafficker who convinced me he loved me also often told me I was worthless and my only value was what he put on me.”
There are so many victims and survivors who have children, and the love for a child is something many people can relate to. If you’re not a mother maybe you can relate to the times your mom, or a mother-like figure, made incredible sacrifices for you.
This mom told me that being held in captivity for two years was one of the loneliest times of her life. She would sit and think about the memories she had of pushing her daughter on the swings and taking her son to basketball practice. She was a mother that fought for her freedom so that she could create more memories with the children she loved.
Family always has complications and challenges. However, there is so much undying commitment, determination, and will that keeps us fighting for those we love. For those of you that can, we are so grateful for your support to help us continue to stand with victims and survivors as they fight their battles for the ones they love.
Jessica Mass is the Director of Aftercare for Operation Underground Railroad. Born and raised in the Midwest, Jessica found her calling in life when she was 13 years old on a church mission trip in the inner-city of Brooklyn, New York. Following high school, she has worked for 17 years in six different states and internationally in non-profit empowering youth in foster care, areas of mental health and human trafficking. Her primary focus has been helping children and youth heal from trauma and empowering them in their hopes and dreams for the future. She also has first-hand experience being a therapeutic foster parent for children that experienced severe neglect, abuse or human trafficking. Jessica is also passionate about collaboration and has been able to train and serve on five continents.
In college, she double majored in Biblical Studies and Family Education at Multnomah University. She completed the Arts Bridge Scholar grad level program at the University of Utah, has been trained in NLP and is certified in the Teaching Family Model. Jessica has a strong belief that there is always hope for everyone and sometimes it just takes one person pouring into another that will be forever life-changing. When she’s not working she loves being in the outdoors hiking, rock-climbing and of course eating frozen yogurt along the way.