Empowering Victims & Survivors

Our advocacy services are centered on encouraging the empowerment of victims and survivors of sexual violence during their healing journey. Advocacy is available through the 24-hour crisis intervention, information and referral line that can be called by victims at any time. Highly trained and empathetic Advocates operate this line and offer general support advocacy services to those immediate needs of sexual assault victims, as well as Medical and Legal advocacy services when victims struggle to navigate through often intimidating medical and legal processes.

The Advocacy Program is provided FREE of charge to any victim/survivor of sexual assault or abuse and their friends and family. The sexual assault may have been a recent occurrence, in the past or even childhood. Advocates help sexual assault vicitims determine what services can help them and how they can be accessed while providing emotional support and guidance.

CSE Case Management

For anyone who identifies as having experienced Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) either in the present or past will be referred to a STRAPWA Case Manager who will provide case management and unconditional support as well as resources and referrals for medical, legal, therapeutic and social services across Pierce County.

This Case Manager will provide consistent, non-judgmental support and belief to any individual who accesses Advocacy services through STRAPWA. These services can be accessed by clients at their time of choosing or by referral and can be refused by the client at any point in time. We believe everyone has the right to self-determination when it comes to choosing their path of healing and service provision when possible.

The goal of STRAPWA is to enhance client services by actively connecting CSE victim/survivors with supportive systems in the community that can assist them by increasing safety and promoting self-sufficiency.

What is Commercial Sexual Exploitation?

Sexual exploitation is any exchange of sex acts for money, gifts, drugs, or basic needs (such as food and shelter), which can include sex trafficking and take the form of survival sex, prostitution, stripping, dancing, phone sex, web cams, and other forms of commercial trade sex.

The Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act (18 U.S.C. § 1591) defines the crime of human trafficking as:

“The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act where such an act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.”

A commercial sex act is defined as any act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person, including:

• Prostitution (gang-based or not)
• Exotic dancing/Stripping
• Sex tourism
• Any transactional sex with a minor (under age 18)
• Pornography/web cam
• Erotic/nude massage

Who is at Risk for Commercial Sexual Exploitation?

Predators seek out those who are already vulnerable, making homeless youths and runaways prime targets. Individuals who are often marginalized by society—youth of color, LGBTQ youth, low-income young people—are also at increased risk.

Estimates show:

• The average age of entry into prostitution is 12-14; many young adults become involved as minors.
• 90% of exploited youth have a prior history of abuse, neglect, and/or sexual trauma.
• Exploitation affects young men, young women and transgender youth.

How to Take Action

If you are a victim/survivor of sexual exploitation, or if you would like to get more information about the issue of youth sex trafficking or report a violation, call our STRAPWA hotline at 253-444-5351. You may also contact the case manager by email at casemanager@strapwa.org.

Sex Trafficking Response & Awareness Program Drop-In Center

Rebuilding Hope’s STRAPWA program is very pleased to announce that we will be opening a drop-in center for youths receiving services from the STRAPWA program. Formally to open September 8, 2015, this drop-in center will provide a safe, comfortable and confidential environment for youths to enjoy whether they come by the Center for specific appointments or to just rest and regroup. The drop-in center provides a modest kitchenette where youths can enjoy light snacks and refreshments and youths will be able to utilize the facility’s showers that are stocked with towels and donated hygiene supplies. The drop-in center will also feature computers and phones that youths can utilize for academic studies as well as job-searching and resume/interview skill development with the assistance of the STRAPWA Case Manager.

This drop-in center is tentatively scheduled to be open and available to youths during Rebuilding Hope! operating business hours – Monday-Thursdays 8:30am – 5:30pm – with the hope and intent to expand those hours to include Fridays based on staffing availability.

Donate to the Drop-In Center

The STRAPWA drop-in center could use your donations. If you would like to donate any of the items listed below, please contact us to arrange your donation.

We accept the following items in new condition:

  • Washcloths
  • Hand towels
  • Full towels
  • Pillow cases
  • Pillows (preferably packed in an airtight bag)
  • Blankets
  • Blow dryers
  • Straightening and/or curling irons

We accept the following clothes, preferably new, in diverse sizes:

  • Panties/bras
  • Socks (ankle or full length)
  • Camisoles
  • Shirts/tops (short, 3/4 and/or long sleeves)
  • Leggings
  • Pants (lounge or denim preferred)
  • Sweaters/sweatshirts
  • Blouses/Blazers/Slacks/Dresses (job interview clothing)

We accept these miscellaneous items:

  • Youth-friendly/appropriate and/or young adult novels
  • Youth-friendly/appropriate board/card games/activity sets (i.e., small puzzles, Apples to Apples, soccer/basket/volleyballs)

We are always receptive to travel-size hygiene, personal care and food donations, including the following:

  • Any/all full and/or travel size of hygiene/hair products for African-American youths
  • Soap
  • Body wash
  • Body lotion
  • Face lotion
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Hair styling products
  • Hairbrushes/combs
  • Hair ties/clips
  • Feminine and/or baby wipes
  • Sanitary/disinfecting wipes
  • Tampons/pads/pantyliners
  • Chapstick/lip balm
  • Razors
  • Deodorant/antiperspirant
  • Toothbrushes/floss/toothpaste/mouthwash
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towel
  • Dishwashing Soap
  • Handwashing Soap
  • Kitchenware (dishes, pots, pans)
  • Bottled water
  • Canned and/or small bottled juices (CapriSun, cranberry/apple juice)
  • Canned/packaged foods (beans, vegetables, soups, rice, pasta, etc)
  • Condiments (ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard)
  • Frozen meals (hot pockets, pizza, chicken nuggets, burritos)
  • Pre-packaged snacks (chips, popcorn, nuts, granolas, snack/meal bars, etc)

Please refer questions about or offers for donations to STRAPWA by emailing casemanager@strapwa.org or calling 253-597-6424 ext. 0 to speak with our administrator.

When it comes to the clothing and pillows/blankets/towels/etc. donations — we don’t have the capacity for large donations, but need to keep a few of each in stock.