'Breaking The Chains' one step closer to building rescue center for victims of human trafficking

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- 'Breaking The Chains' is a local non-profit which provides hope, healing and education to victims of human trafficking.

Many were lured online and promised friendship or a job but instead were forced to become sex workers.

Over 180 victims of human trafficking are expected to be rescued from a life of prostitution in Fresno alone this year. But once they're off the streets it's difficult for them to find a safe place and ultimately a fresh start.

A $45,000 donation from Granville Homes will be used to help 'Breaking The Chains' build a new rescue facility.

"This will be a space that will be utilized 24 hours a day upon rescue, where we'll no longer will victims sit in hospital rooms, police headquarters, I bureaus, motel rooms, or even on the side of the road," said 'Breaking The Chains' CEO Debra Rush.

The rescue center will be able to house 25 victims of human trafficking.

It will provide a safe, anonymous environment to help identify the gangs or pimps responsible so they can be prosecuted.

District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp called human trafficking a cancer plaguing society.

"It is happening every day in every city in Fresno County. It happens in schools. People are taken from malls. There are all different types of ways the traffickers get these girls," said Smittcamp.

A safe place also allows victims to learn what support services are available to them.

Granville Homes helped raise money for the project through its 'Home of Hope' fund drive.

"It's a need in our community and our society that has to be addressed and we want to be a part of that," said Granville Homes CEO Darius Assemi.

The rescue center is scheduled to open in January.

The crimes cross all social and economic backgrounds.

Rush says you'll find victims of human trafficking in even the most affluent areas.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.