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"The World’s Terrible Truths are Never Solved by Turning a Blind Eye,” & Other Important Lesson’s Learned at Microsoft’s 2016 //oneweek Hackathon.

Written by Bridget Battistoni
on October 18, 2016

Danielle, a Microsoft employee, volunteered her time to Hack for Good at Microsoft’s //oneweek Hackathon for REST’s Project Reach Out and met a survivor of sex trafficking and employee of REST who privately shared her story to help inform the project participants. Danielle sent us this letter...

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We've Begun Our Year with a Real Game Changer

Written by Bridget Battistoni
on October 10, 2016

At REST, it seems like we're always up to something big: a resident finishes school and gains a degree, a survivor joins our support group and finds a meaningful community or we celebrate another survivor who has successfully escaped the sex trade for 30 days, 6 months or a year. These last few...

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When Sex Trafficking is a Family Affair

Written by Bridget Battistoni
on May 14, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a story involving six local men who were arrested during an undercover operation that involved child rape & domestic minor sex trafficking. These men ranged in age, race and profession. They lived in major cities, and in the outlying suburbs. As you can...

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Two Things You Can Do Today To Support Human Trafficking Victims: HB 2668 & SB 5277

Written by Bridget Battistoni
on February 22, 2016

Trauma recovery, especially for people who have experienced ongoing terrorizing physical and sexual violence, is an arduous and painful path. The seemingly insurmountable roadblocks when attempting post-trafficking recovery is no exception. Victims of human trafficking, as a result of their...

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It All Started When You Bought $2,700 Cupcakes

Written by Bridget Battistoni
on November 17, 2015

It all started when you bought $2,700 cupcakes. Well, actually, it started when you and hundreds like you came to A Night of REST with generous grit to give freedom, safety and hope to sexually exploited people in our community. One of my table mates remarked that it seemed if we had enough...

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When Trauma Exists in the Caregiver-Child Relationship

Written by Bridget Battistoni
on June 25, 2015

In 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck near the capital city of Port Au Prince, Haiti. More than 1.5 million people were displaced, and 300,000 structures were severely damaged or destroyed. Some cities near the epicenter reported 90% of their buildings lost. The amount of devastation was...

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10 Things Not To Say When Meeting A Survivor of Sex Trafficking

Written by Bridget Battistoni
on April 22, 2015

We mean well. We don’t intend to be insensitive. But sometimes our words are still hurtful to those who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation. With the help of some people who’ve felt the effect of unintentionally damaging words first-hand, we’ve created this list so we can better...

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A Survivor’s Story: Meet Mia

Written by Bridget Battistoni
on March 26, 2015

I spent my childhood being trafficked for sex. When I was five years old, I was raped by my stepfather and uncle. Soon, my stepfather began to pass me around to his friends. This quickly escalated into strangers paying my stepfather for time with me and eventually being sold to a larger client...

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50 Shades of Propaganda: How You Are Being Indoctrinated To Sexual Violence

Written by Bridget Battistoni
on February 12, 2015

I’ve always been particularly fascinated by World War II. More specifically, how Adolf Hitler was able to convince hundreds of thousands of ordinary people to participate in, or at least tolerate, the systematic massacre of more than six million people during his reign. How were so many people...

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Trauma & the Brain: How a Fraction of a Second Can Change Your Life

Written by Bridget Battistoni
on January 07, 2015

Several years ago, I was sitting on my couch, enjoying the silence that only a parent of small children can appreciate. The digital clock on our DVD player told me I was up too late, but the stillness of that hour was a refuge to my ears and soul. The silence was immediately interrupted by the...

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