NCJW/Cleveland provides educational and supportive services to help prevent human trafficking in the county and advocates on behalf of trafficking victims. NCJW/Cleveland has elevated its involvement in fighting this crime to a high-priority initiative, both locally and nationally. We intend to educate the community on the issue, to advocate for stronger punishments for traffickers and better services to help survivors regain their lives, and to encourage consumers to purchase only slave labor-free goods.
The S.O.A.P Project
S.O.A.P. stands for “Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution” and is a hands-on outreach to fight sex trafficking at large events and in communities. Its mission is to rescue victims being trafficked at hotels, to provide victims a number to call for help, to educate motels and hotels on the signs of trafficking, and to mobilize volunteers on a human trafficking outreach.
S.O.A.P. volunteers distribute free-of-charge bars of soap wrapped with a red band that gives the National Human Trafficking Hotline Number – 1-888-3737-888. Also, they provide training to be able to identify and report sex trafficking when they see it in their establishments. S.O.A.P. outreaches are exceptionally prevalent around high-demand events such as the Super Bowl and large scale conventions.
S.O.A.P. was founded by author, advocate and survivor, Theresa Flores. On her worst night, after being auctioned off to nearly two dozen men in a dingy, dirty, inner city Detroit motel, Theresa recalled the only item that would have reached out to her, a bar of soap. With that in mind, she created S.O.A.P. — Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution — to help reach out to other victims.
NCJW/Cleveland is participating with the S.O.A.P. Cleveland project team on this project.
Six participants in the SOAP initiative conducted our first outreaches at two Beachwood hotels – a “test” run. We were received well and now have a better grasp of the process. It is not too late to join the program!