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Out of darkness. Stephanie Sherrod and Mechel Grant.

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out of darkness

Out of darkness

Stephanie Sherrod and Mechel Grant


“There is a special evil in the abuse and exploitation of the most innocent and vulnerable. The victims of the sex trade see little of life before they see the very worst of life, an underground of brutality and lonely fear. Those who create these victims and profit from their suffering must be severely punished. Those who patronize this industry debase themselves and deepen the misery of others.”

- George Bush (Senior)

agency info
Agency Info:
  • Out of Darkness
  • Address & Contact Info:
  • Atlanta Headquarters

PO Box 550849 Atlanta GA 30355

  • Phone: 404-719-4854
  • Hotline: 404-941-6024
  • Email: info@outofdarkness.org
  • Website: www.outofdarkness.org
  • Personal Interview Name & Contact Info:

Barbara Bush and Anne Kerr-

  • anne@outofdarkness.org
mission statement target population
Mission Statement & Target Population:

Target Population:

The target population is English speaking young adults. The reason for this is that they don’t have translators and they would have to place children back into the system in which they may have run away from in the beginning.

Any female or male over the age of 18 is eligible for the program/agency.(Young Adult). But they would not turn you away if you had information on a child under the age of 18, they would help make sure that the child was rescued.

Mission Statement:

  • The mission of Out of Darkness is to reach, rescue and restore all victims of commercial sexual exploitation, that the glory of God may be known in all the earth. 

Vision Statement:

  • The vision of Out of Darkness is to create a knowledgeable population vigorously resistant to commercial sexual exploitation and foster communities with wise compassion for ongoing restoration for those affected.
who are the victims
Who Are The Victims?
  • 293,000 American youth are at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking. (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Gender: Majority of victims are female
  • Age: The average age is 12 years old
  • Background: Runaways or “throwaways”
  • Estimated that 1.6 million children run away each year Children are approached by exploiters within 48 hours 90% have a history of sexual abuse
how do they become a victim
How Do They Become A Victim?
  • Force/Threats
  • Peer recruitment
  • Internet Enticement
  • False modeling/acting advertisement
  • Seduced/Coerced
  • Kidnapped
  • Sold by family member
  • Initial voluntary business arrangement
  • A former pimp, who is now saved. Told the organization that they patrol school games, Facebook, Twitter and places like movie theaters to get new girls/boys.
  • This is a billion dollar business and if one girl wants to leave they’ll have a replacement almost immediately.
what are the long term effects for the victim
What Are The Long Term Effects For The Victim?

Physical Trauma:

  • Drug and alcohol addiction, physical injuries (broken bones, concussions, burns, vaginal/anal tearings); traumatic brain injury resulting in memory loss, dizziness, headaches, numbness, sexually transmitted diseases, sterility, miscarriages, menstrual problems, other diseases and forced or coerced abortions.

Psychological Trauma:

  • Mind/body separation/disassociated ego states, shame, grief, fear, distrust, hatred of men, self-hatred, suicide, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – acute anxiety, depression, insomnia, physical hyperalertness, self-loathing that is long-lasting and resistant to change.
  • Victims may also suffer from traumatic bonding – a form of coercive control in which the perpetrator instills in the victim fear as well as gratitude for being allowed to live.
services provided
Services Provided:

They will have a dedicated team searching the internet to identify the sites where underage children are being sold for sex, the exploiters who are selling them, and the johns who are buying them. This information will be provided to law enforcement agencies with the hope of assisting active investigations and prosecutions.

  • They run a 24/7 hotline with volunteers trained to answer rescue calls. Those volunteers will then activate responders who are trained to make contact with and offer rescue to trafficking victims. Victims will be offered a safe place to stay until they can transition to appropriate restorative services.
services provided1
Services Provided:
  • For the first 10-12 days after a victim is rescued the victim is placed in a safe house for decompression. This allows the victim time to think and get a since of safety. Also a lot of the victims return to the streets since that is the only life they’ve known.
  • Once in the safe house all clothes, food, medical care, transportation, immediate therapy, and on the spot mentors for these victims are provided.
  • If the victim chooses to stay with the program. They are assessed for specific needs and they are moved to a long term safe house where they begin to receive long term therapy and decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives.
  • Services typically last one year. But could last longer if needed.
  • Outcome is measured by residual rates. If the victim doesn’t return back to the “life”.
  • The staff consists mostly of volunteers. They volunteers undergo questioning and a review process. Volunteers have been turned away.
  • Once a volunteer has been accepted it is mostly on the job training with the exception of a few yearly Friday and Saturday training days. Please check the website if your interested. You can also like them on Facebook and they will keep you informed of training days and organizational needs.
  • The volunteers will never go into a dangerous situation to rescue someone they will always have them meet them in a well lit, high pedestrian area.
organization info
Organization Info:
  • The staff size varies. It could be as little as 2 people per team or as much as 20. If someone is being rescued then they don’t need as many people with them. However, if they are just in the community handing out flyers or making their presence known it will be a larger group.
  • There is about 10 people to a home while the victim is being rehabilitated.
  • $150 per person for the 10-12 days because they get a lot of donations for everything from food to medical care so they can keep costs at a low budget. They did not specify how much it cost after the initial 10-12 days since some of the victims remain in care for up to a year depending on the circumstance.
  • All funds are by donations.
  • No client out of pocket fees
georgia s human trafficking problem
Georgia’s Human Trafficking Problem:
  • The most common age of entry into the commercial sex industry is 12-14 years old.
  • The FBI named Atlanta as one of 14 cities in the nation with the highest incidence of children exploited in prostitution.
  • Each month, approximately 300-500 girls are commercially sexually exploited throughout GA.
  • Atlanta – “Human Trafficking Hub”

Top 5 cities for human trafficking

Tip city for human trafficking of Hispanic females

  • On average, 100 juvenile girls are exploited each night in Georgia
  • 7,200 men pay for sex with adolescent females in Georgia each month
examples of sex trafficking
Examples of Sex Trafficking
  • Prostitution
  • Pornography
  • Stripping
  • Erotic/nude massage
  • Escort services
  • Phone sex lines
  • Private parties
  • Gang-based prostitution
  • Familial pimping
  • Forms of Internet-based exploitation
use of slang from the commercial sex industry
Use of slang from the commercial sex industry:
  • – “the life” the commercial sex industry
  • – “Daddy” an individual’s pimp
  • – “P.I.” reference to another pimp
  • – “stable” a group of girls/women under the same pimp’s control
  • – “bottom bitch” the girl a pimp identifies as being in charge of others
  • – “breaking” to give all your money to a pimp
  • – “folks/family” an individual’s pimp or the people s/he works for
  • – “gorilla pimping” an pimp who uses brute force to obtain a person
  • – “track/stroll” a street location for commercial sex
  • – “wife-in-law” a group of girls who work for the same pimp
  • – “dates, johns, tricks” buyers of commercial sex
  • – “renegade” to work independently and not have a pimp
  • – “square” someone who was never in the sex industry
  • – “squaring up” to get out of the sex industry
ga law on human trafficking
GA Law On Human Trafficking:
  • – GA Human Trafficking Law/Safe Harbor Law (OCGA 16-5-46)
  • – Pimping/Pandering (OCGA 16-6-13 & 14)
  • – Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes (OCGA 16-6-5)
  • – Aggravated Assault with intent to commit rape (OCGA 16-5-21)
  • – Serious Violence Sex Crimes (OCGA 16-6-1, 2, 22.2)
  • – Kidnapping (OCGA 16-5-40)
  • – Battery (OCGA 16-5-23.1)
  • – Statutory Rape (OCGA 16-6-3)
  • – Child Molestation (OCGA 16-6-4)
  • – Extortion (OCGA 16-8-16)
  • – False Imprisonment (OCGA 16-5-41)
  • – Child Pornography (OCGA 16-12-100)
resources http www outofdarkness org resources


  • Anti-Slavery Projectwww.antislaveryproject.org
  • Back to the Streetsbrod525.blogspot.com
  • The Barrocas Group, LLCwww.thebarrocasgroup.com
  • CHRIS Kidswww.chriskids.org
  • Covenant Housewww.covenanthouse.org/youth-shelter/georgia-atlanta
  • Crisis Line & Safe Housewww.cl-sh.org
  • Family Ties, Inc.www.familytiesinc.com
  • Georgia Care Connectionwww.georgiacareconnection.com
  • International Justice Mission – Georgia Advocacy Groupwww.ijm.org
  • Juvenile Justice Fund – A Future Not A Pastwww.afuturenotapast.org
  • Maximum Impact Love, Inc.www.maximumimpactlove.org
  • Meet Justicewww.meetjustice.org
  • NightLight Atlantanightlightinternational.com/about/unitedstates/atlanta
  • Not For Sale Campaignwww.notforsalecampaign.orgGeorgia Chapter may be found on Facebook: Not For Sale Georgia
  • Polaris Projectwww.polarisproject.org
  • P.U.P.I.L. (People Uplifting People in Life)www.pupilinternational.org
  • ReachLife Ministrieswww.reachlife.org
  • Solomon Housesolomonhouse-atl.org
  • Street Gracewww.streetgrace.org
  • Tapestriwww.tapestri.org
  • Truckers Against Traffickingwww.truckersagainsttrafficking.com
  • Wellspring Livingwww.wellspringliving.org
  • Beauty From Asheswww.beautyfromashes.org
  • Exodus Crywww.exoduscry.org
  • Atlanta Dream Center Princess Nightswww.atldreamcenter.com
additional links
Additional Links:
  • Keisha’s Story- http://vimeo.com/27091207
  • http://www.ajc.com/news/news/despite-millions-spent-human-traffickings-scope-is/nTjRn/
  • http://www.polarisproject.org/state-map/georgia
  • http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do/national-human-trafficking-hotline/the-nhtrc/our-services?gclid=CPHIjoeuxbYCFQgHnQod12cAYw
  • http://dfcs.dhs.georgia.gov/sites/dfcs.dhs.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/BST%20Human%20Trafficking%20Workshop.pdf