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Breaking Free provides education and support services to prostituted women and girls escaping violence.
Breaking Free was established in St. Paul, Minnesota in October 1996 to serve women and girls involved in systems of prostitution. Vednita Carter, former Director of Women’s Services at WHISPER, founded the Afro-Centric agency to fight commercial sexual exploitation by providing direct services for all prostituted women and girls and by educating the community to recognize prostitution as systematic violence against women.
Breaking Free provides an alternative to the revolving door nature of social services and the criminal justice system. Our structure addresses the core issues of women’s social, sexual, and economic subordination underlying violence against women and the racism, which often facilitates it.
Breaking Free provides educational/support groups to women through its office in inner city St. Paul, and through our satellite office located at Recovery Resource Center in South Minneapolis.
In 2005, Breaking Free was awarded funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services to unveil its public awareness campaign to combat human trafficking, a modern day form of slavery. This national campaign includes outreach and training to those most likely to encounter victims - social service organizations, local law enforcement, and health care professionals. HHS is also unveiling resources to help Minnesota residents recognize the signs of human trafficking and learn how to take action to help victims. Breaking Free in partnership with HHS will expand our outreach efforts in identifying and providing services to victims of human trafficking.
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