Freedom Place is the charity that DEFINE is spotlighting this month and we wanted to share with you their amazing mission.

Although slavery was abolished in the U.S.  long ago, many of our own most vulnerable citizens are still suffering as slaves today.  It is estimated that between 100,000 – 300,000 AMERICAN children are enslaved in sex trafficking each year.  Located just north of Houston, Freedom Place is Texas’s first safe house and comprehensive recovery program for victims of domestic child sex trafficking. They provide medical care, substance abuse treatment, psychiatric evaluation & treatment, psychological & trauma counseling, education, spiritual needs, Equestrian Therapy, & reunification with family/relative. Their mission is to offer a successful path to freedom for domestic children who have suffered as sex slaves.

DEFINE instructor, Montse Velasco, was especially touched by the work of Freedom Place and so she is donating her time to spotlight their cause.

What is your connection with Freedom Place?
Montse: I have known of families that lost their daughters to sexual slavery in Mexico.  It saddens me that innocent girls are so vulnerable to the exploitation of their sexuality before they even get to learn what it means.

What do you want people to know about Freedom Place?
Montse: Victims of sex trafficking face many difficulties in trying to form their normal lives again, the trauma is equivalent to the experience of slavery. Many victims deny help because they face feelings of guilt and shame. It is common for a young girl victim to believe that she was the cause of her ordeal. Freedom Place not only raises awareness, but continues to create a community that can provide support and empowerment for victims of sex trafficking.

How can you help today?
1. Donate gift cards to help Freedom Place purchase much needed supplies.  During the month of June all DEFINE locations will be accepting gift cards to Kroger, Target, Walmart, Costco, Home Depot to help Freedom Place with their ongoing needs.
2. Register to attend Montse’s donation based DEFINEbody class at our River Oaks Studio on Saturday August 4, at 12PM.  Give from your heart to help those whose needs are so great AND get a great workout on top of the great feeling of knowing you are lending a hand!