Published April 2, 2018
Happy April, Friends! It’s a new month, which means we highlight a NEW organization that fights human trafficking. This month, I’d like to introduce you to Laura Aranda, board member of Southwest Louisiana Abolitionists (SWLA).
Southwest Louisiana Abolitionists
What is SWLA Abolitionists?
“SWLA Abolitionists is made up of people in southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas dedicated to fighting human trafficking through awareness, prevention, rescue and restoration. Our goal is to spread awareness on a local level through communities and relevant institutions. We aim to battle the notion that modern slavery only takes place in third world countries. We hope to give our local community a better understanding of the issue and how close it could be to them. Our passionate team also works to connect (and recruit) local abolitionists and serve as social advocates for victims and their families.”
How did the organization get started?
“Rusty Havens is the founder of the SWLA abolitionist group. He started this group with a burden to help those who had no voice.”
Can you tell me about the work your organization does and the program or programs you run?
“I have written a faith based novel bringing awareness to human trafficking in America. As an author and an Impact Junkie, I am also a Board Member of the Southwest Louisiana Abolitionist group founded by Rusty Havens. I first became aware of human trafficking in her area in 2014 in Houston Texas and wanted to somehow make a difference. That is the birthing place for the dream of my novel “Pushing Back the Darkness”. I travel to do speaking engagements about modern day slavery and the impact it has on our youth in America.”
What differentiates SWLA Abolitionists from other anti-trafficking organizations?
“We have funded an interstate billboard highlighting the national human trafficking hotline phone number and text line. Our billboard has impacted our community. While we don’t always get to see the end result of our awareness campaign, here are a few of the positive things that have happened because of our billboard:
- We met many people who didn’t know trafficking happened in SWLA.
- We were featured in a full page American Press article newspaper more than once.
- Louisiana gas stations will put up the National Human Trafficking Hotline Flyer.
- We talked to city council members and other local leaders who saw our billboard and learned that it happens here.
- Because of our billboard, families of survivors have reached out to us for help. We are currently walking with them through the process of healing and restoration.
- We were invited to do radio interviews because of the billboard.
- Someone contacted us about a possible trafficking case in Sulphur. Since then, a massage parlor in that city has been shut down.
- Helped a grandmother whose granddaughter was being groomed by a predator. She heard us on a radio interview that we got because the DJ saw our billboard.
What are your goals for the next three to five years? What priorities will help you achieve them? What barriers are in your way?
“My personal goal is to get my book in every state in America. I want to finish creating my curriculum for emotional healing and restoration geared towards aftercare of survivors of sexual abuse. I need investors to publish the curriculum. I have financial barriers in the way right now. I would love to see this curriculum used in schools and churches across America.”
To find out more about SWLA, check out their website! http://www.swlaabolitionists.com
Pushing Back the Darkness
Claire Sullivan has not been the same since the death of her parents, particularly the unsolved vicious murder of her father, Judge Patrick Sullivan. She finds some solace in the arms of her longtime boyfriend, Detective Cole Peretti, but even he cannot fill the void in her heart. In addition to her grief, she is plagued by reoccurring nightmares of a specific girl. When she sees the girl featured on the news as a runaway foster child, Claire realizes there is more involved than sheer coincidence.
Spurred to action, she ventures down the grittiest streets of Houston, Texas, to find and rescue the girl from her nightmares – against Cole’s advice. Danger escalates when she comes face to face with the ugly truth of human trafficking and her limited ability to protect herself and those she loves the most.
When the unthinkable happens, will Claire surrender to her own will and refuse to forgive? Or is there still time to join other believers and push back the darkness through the power of prayer and spiritual warfare?
Pushing Back the Darkness is a riveting Christian thriller that addresses the realities of modern day slavery. It is an adventure you will not forget and a call to shine the light of Christ into your world.
You can Buy The Book HERE.