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Georgia organization helps women and children victimized by sexual exploitation

Written By: Team CMC

iCare4 directly helps victims heal and reclaim their lives while also working to educate community professionals to strengthen a social safety net in the Southeast

The statistics are startling: 27 million victims of human trafficking in the world today; 13 is the average age that youth are being recruited for exploitation and trafficking; and one out of three runaways are approached by sex traffickers within the first 48 hours of leaving home.

Many girls and women are arrested for prostitution, jailed, and do not receive the help they need to heal from the trauma of being trafficked for sex. Without help, many are unable to start a better life.

"We need to protect our community by teaching children and families to protect themselves from predators," says Ginger Amerson, Co-Founder and Executive Director of iCare4, a nonprofit founded in 2011 that provides services to women and children. "When kids put themselves and others at risk to sex traffickers, it makes our entire community unsafe."

Ginger and Walt Amerson first learned about child sex trafficking while volunteering in downtown Atlanta serving the homeless. They met a runaway who was participating in "survival sex," a form of trafficking for food and shelter. She escaped sexual abuse in her family home, a home that was located only one street over from the Amerson's suburban house.

The runaway had recently turned 18 and was not addicted to drugs. She didn't qualify for any help. After learning about additional women, all who had children, who also could not get services, the Amersons founded iCare4 to serve women and children who are victimized by sexual exploitation as well as those who are at risk of being victimized.

iCare4 offers several programs, including:

Awareness: Partnering with the Georgia Department of Education and other groups, it raises awareness and offers training to parents and students about the threat of sex trafficking.

Intervention: Working in close partnership with law enforcement and state departments like Georgia Division of Family & Children Services, iCare4 offers a safe place while medical, mental health, and education assessments are completed.

Restoration: iCare4 offers a safe, long-term restoration home called River Tree, where girls can go for extended periods of time supervised by round-the-clock staff. At River Tree they can finish schooling and work toward independent living and financial stability.

Since the organization started in 2011, the biggest change is how predators find their victims. Prior to 2016, most groomed their victims in person. Now it's done overwhelmingly online.

"Though the problem is large, through raising awareness, training community members and partnering with local officials and organizations, change can happen for the better," says Ginger.

Learn more at https://icareforthevoiceless.org/.


About Cingo: The name Cingo means to surround and secure, conveying the company's commitment to home protection. The company has been protecting families in the Southeast since 1974. It provides home protection services throughout Georgia and South Carolina, including Atlanta, Augusta, Charleston, Douglas, Dublin, Milledgeville, Savannah, Vidalia, Waycross and all points in between. Cingo was named a Best Place to Work in Georgia by Georgia Trend Magazine and listed as a National Best & Brightest Company to Work For. Learn more at www.cingohome.com.