dōTERRA Healing Hands recently made a generous donation to Covenant House Toronto’s Avdell Home, a supported housing program for victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking. This gift will go toward beautifying the landscape of the residence and will include a small aromatherapy garden.
“The work that Covenant House Toronto is doing in the lives of the individuals they serve is life-changing. It is a great honor for dōTERRA to partner with them as they create a sanctuary for young women who have escaped sex trafficking,” said Bekah Nixon, dōTERRA Canada General Manager. “Part of the mission of dōTERRA Healing Hands is to end human trafficking through a collaborative approach by addressing prevention, rescue efforts, and aftercare healing. We are deeply grateful for partners like Covenant House who make a measurable impact in many lives.”
In 2016, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that 4.8 million people were victims of forced sexual exploitation around the world. Of that, 21 percent were children under 18 years.
The province of Ontario is a major hub of human trafficking with 65 percent of police-reported cases in Canada, the majority involving domestic sex trafficking. In Ontario, 63 percent of the victims were Canadian citizens. Homeless young women are among the most vulnerable to sex trafficking, but girls of all backgrounds and circumstances are exploited. They have been as young as 13, and on average they are 17.
Last year, Covenant House Toronto supported 90 sex trafficking survivors, which is an 11 percent increase to the year prior.
“Our goal is to support these young women in a safe, secure and welcoming environment to help them move to the next stage of their journey,” said Bruce Rivers, Executive Director, Covenant House Toronto. “We appreciate everything our private and public partners have done to help us fulfill the increasing need for housing and wrap-around support for our most vulnerable young women.”
Covenant House Toronto is Canada’s largest agency serving youth who are homeless, trafficked or at-risk, offering a wide range of services and support to as many as 300 youth a day. Since opening its doors in 1982, Covenant House has served more than 95,000 young people.