MILWAUKEE -- The corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago is known nationally for a very specific crime -- sex trafficking. Selah Freedom, a national nonprofit committed to eradicating human trafficking opened its first residential safe home on Nov. 4 in Wisconsin.
"It's so important to us that the place that they come in doesn't feel like a hospital, or a jail, or a halfway house," said Sarah Frazer with Selah Freedom. "We want them to feel like this is a home."
What happens in the home is more in line with what you'd find at a hospital.
"Our assessment house is that first four to six weeks of healing and recovery for them, where they can really take that time to pause, get assessed, and get counseling and therapy," said Frazer.
The home can house 20 people -- and it's meant for victims of sex trafficking.
"The average age of entry into sex trafficking is 15 to 17 years old, so by the time they come to us, they're 18-plus, but they've usually been in the life, and experiencing this abuse and trauma, for many, many years," said Frazer.
The goal of the facility is to help women recover from their immediate escape from that lifestyle and start on a path of healthy independence.
"A lot of things that would have shook me, Selah helped me get through," said a survivor. "They've never given up on me, even when I gave up on myself."
Recorded testimony from survivors from sister programs outside Wisconsin speaks to Selah Freedom's track record of success.
"We want them to feel like they are worth this, and they are worth more than what they have been experiencing," said Frazer.
It's evidence that adjusting to your new normal starts with a helping hand and a space to call your own.
For security reasons, FOX6 News is not revealing the exact location of the house. Victims are referred there by counselors or law enforcement.
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