Naples woman on mission to create safe place for human trafficking victims
NAPLES, Fla. – A Collier County woman is on a mission to end human sex trafficking.
Ana Stevenson wants to build a unique campus in Southwest Florida as a safe place for victims.
One victim shared her tragic story to WINK News.
“By 5:30 that day, I had already served 47 men,” said the victim, who preferred not to be identified.
She tells says she had begged her trafficker to stop.
“I was really hurting and I felt very sick and he said ‘don’t worry, the day is almost over. There is only 11 more customers waiting and once you finish with these 11, you’re going to be done.’ By the time the day really ended that day, I had served 59 men… I was 4 1/2 months pregnant.”
Stevenson says hearing similar stories made her realize she had to do something to help.
“We recognize victims, rescued victims, of sex trafficking need long-term rehabilitative care,” said Stevenson.
She founded Path2Freedom, a nonprofit organization looking to build a $20 million campus.
Stevenson says, “we’d like to have several safe houses on the campus. We’d like to have counseling, we would like to have education, medical and training so we can rehabilitate these girls and send them back out in the community.”
“It’s a huge deal,” the victim said. “Five years ago, no one even recognized that this was happening to me and now to see that as a community we have started to understand this, I don’t have words to explain what it means that there’s going to be a safe place for victims to go to.”
Stevenson says she still needs to find about 100 acres to build the campus on. She hopes to start building next year. She adds the campus will be paid for through fundraising and private donors.