Texas ranks second in the country for sex trafficking. Courtney Drake is a survivor of sex trafficking and she doesn’t like talking much about her past, but rather looking forward to her future -- a future that Dallas nonprofit New Friends, New Life is helping her create.
"New Friends New Life, for the past 20 years, has helped to heal and restore women who have been sex trafficked or sexually exploited," Kim Robinson, CEO of New Friends New Life said. "We do that in a number of ways. First and foremost, we have a women's program that is holistic. We offer counseling, case management and economic empowerment and we also have a teen center."
Part of that economic empowerment is helping women find gainful employment in safe places.
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"This is a game changer for them because so many of them have never had the chance to gain conventional skills and work experience," Robinson said.
Through New Friends New Life, Courtney found Abi Ferrin, a Dallas fashion designer. Courtney works for Abi in her Dallas studio, creating the fashions that are then sold in Abi’s boutique at West Village in Uptown Dallas.
For Abi, the help she provides is very personal.
"When a woman has had her freedom taken away, gets the opportunity for a second chance, her first reaction is to try to help others," Abi said.
Abi is a domestic violence survivor. She has now made it her mission to not only give a helping hand, but to also teach skills these women can pass on to others in need.
Women just like Courtney who has learned the true meaning of self-worth and accomplishment. All thanks to New Friends New Life and Abi Ferrin’s generosity.
"Never give up and always just keep having faith in yourself. When you lose faith within yourself, you lose everything," Courtney said.
New Friends New Life has helped thousands of women+ and children escape horrific situations, but they can’t do it alone. They rely heavily on donations and support from the community. One of their biggest fundraisers of the year will be held on Friday, Oct. 11 at the Omni Hotel. Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith will be the speaker and NBC 5’s Laura Harris will moderate.
Click here for ticket information.