by: Tenikka Smith Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
On Eagles Wings Ministries is attacking the problem of sex trafficking head on by making direct contact with women and girls that may be caught in its dangerous grip.
The organization operates a call center through its outreach program called Rahab's Hope. Volunteers comb websites like Backpage and Craigslist and make calls to females posing as escorts in ads.
They ask if they are being forced to work in the sex industry and offer them everything from the resources to get out to prayer.
Twice a month, the organization makes the calls to various cities. It’s contacted more than 2,000 women and girls from online ads in the last two years.
The ministry said 90 percent of them are victims of sex trafficking and are under the control of a pimp.
On Eagles Wings Ministries founder Emily Fitchpatrick said the last round of calls to Charlotte-area ads was in September, and volunteers turned over 28 suspected minors to law enforcement.
Right now, the organization is working to firm up a partnership with Central Church of God in south Charlotte to launch a call center that would solely focus on girls in the Charlotte area.
Women's director Brenda Livingston said the church has been heavily involved in the fight against sex trafficking for years. It hosts 5k fundraisers, regularly holds prayer groups and works to educate the community. Livingston said the call center is another way to expand their reach.
The church said more than 70 members have already volunteered to be trained to work in the call center. It hopes to have it up and running by early next year.
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