Virginia Beach Justice Initiative

It's real.

The last few years I have been struggling to figure out what it is I'm supposed to do in life. I've been on the non-profit track for quite some time now and have been confident that I am an idealist who needs to have some type of tangible impact in my "career". Mixing that with my art background has been a fun and wonderful ride; I will always appreciate and love art-especially photography. Deep down, I have known that art is not my #1 head-over-heels passion. I'm not really sure what word describes what my passion is- but it's people. Specifically: women. Young women. Young women who are vulnerable and at high-risk for injustice and violation; especially sexual injustice and violation.

How convenient that I'm about to marry the man of my dreams, who has a strong passion for abolishing the cruel reality of Sex Trafficking.

Together we have dreamed many dreams of starting an organization that focuses on educating and ultimately preventing these nightmares so many women live in today. We have dreams of building on that idea and starting a shelter for women coming out of sex trafficking and a community center for young women and survivors to frequent and learn life skills and art and get counseling and begin integrating back into society.

The first step of many of these dreams has come true. At a training for Hands That Heal (a curriculum for working in after-care with victims of trafficking) Ben and I approached a woman we have loads of respect for who founded the organization Richmond Justice Initiative. We told her we lived in VB and wanted to be involved any way we could and we could love to help get something going in our area. Well, Ben and I honestly thought this would be something we would slowly be involved in through the leading of someone else and it would be months down the road. Little did we know, God had something else in store.
We immediately scheduled a meeting with Sara and three other people interested in getting involved in the starting of a Virginia Beach Justice Initiative. A model is already laid out courtesy of International Justice Mission and Richmond Justice Initiative, so there is not much re-inventing that needs to be done-- just a lot of steps toward getting support, getting our name out, connecting with churches and organizations, and then becoming an official 501c3.

In order to be more a part of this, I put in my two-week notice at the museum. This was an extremely difficult decision to make because my job there was really enjoyable. But there was no guarantee the position would go full time and I have been working 3 jobs to supplement my income so I could continue to work there... I am getting married soon and I would like my life back. So after much thought, stress, frustration, tears and finally TRUST- I put in my notice. (No more 80 hour weeks!!!!)
It is incredibly freeing to know I can pour my energy into beginning an organization with my husband. God has opened so many of the right doors and given us the right tools. We are trusting and praying for so much more! It is a very humbling experience so far. I feel generally clueless in every step we move forward with. Without God there is no way we will succeed. Thats how we know we are a part of something big-- it is so beyond our capabilities. We feel honored to be such a large part of this initiative. Please pray for the victims we are advocating for. Pray for the struggles so many men woman and children are facing by having their freedoms stripped and being forced into labor and prostitution. Pray for the success of this organization- no matter who is a part of it. Pray for provision of all sorts: people, finances, opportunities, connections, volunteers, you name it we probably need it. Thank you :)

This is who we are:

Virginia Beach Justice Initiative is a grassroots organization consisting of volunteers who have a passion to see an end to human trafficking, specifically the human trafficking going on in our own back yard.

Our Mission is to bring an end to issues of the injustice of human trafficking by empowering the residents of Virginia Beach and the surrounding area by providing education, awareness and prevention campaigns, and hosting fundraising events to support credible organizations that are involved in the work of eradicating human trafficking on a national and international level.