Cherished LA's mission is to equip and empower women survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation to live healthy and flourishing lives and become productive citizens in their communities. Cherished was established in 2011 as a weekly support group with outreaches to local strip clubs and massage parlors. A partnership with Trades of Hope, a fair-trade catalog, began in 2013 which allowed Cherished to employ survivors as artisans making fair-trade jewelry. Shortly thereafter, the social enterprise was expanded to include a line of bath and body products. In 2015, the Cherished Residential program was opened to provide survivors of human trafficking and commercialized sexual exploitation with comprehensive trauma recovery treatment. In addition to the primary residential home, Cherished now offers a transitional home for graduates of the residential program as they transition into the next stages of recovery and life. Cherished's work in the anti-trafficking movement is four-fold: Outreach & Awareness, Residential Program, Job Opportunities, and Aftercare.
Outreach & Awareness: We reach out to survivors by visiting local strip clubs and inviting women to our weekly support groups. We educate our community about the link between child sexual abuse and entrance into the commercial sex industry through our interactive art exhibit and by speaking at community events.
Residential Program: Cherished provides free housing and wrap-around care for women survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Residents are expected to complete a 2-year program with the option of a transitional third year. Our residents learn to care for themselves and others in a safe community while also learning to care for their home.
Job Opportunities: In our Social Enterprise, our survivors become artisans. They handcraft jewelry, all-natural bath and body products, and soy candles. This provides important job training as well as the empowerment of earning a paycheck to cover their personal expenses.
Aftercare: At Cherished, we provide long-term aftercare for survivors in our residential program including case management, trauma-informed private and group therapy, and mentoring. Survivors participate in life skills classes, such as financial management and receive continuing education assistance. Cherished also works with a talented tattoo artist to assist in tattoo removal or to cover scars from the industry. Additional activities and classes include dance, yoga, and cultural awareness opportunities. When deemed appropriate, Cherished provides computer access for online courses, transportation to and from school, and tutors as needed.