It was a calling, she says. Not one of those things out of the movies, where God speaks in a Morgan Freeman-like voice about what could and should be. It was more subtle, says Becky Dymond, a longtime practicing Christian.
It was more like one thing just led to another, with Dymond landing at the Broward Human Trafficking Coalition and then the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches, a group that meets once a month and often packs the room with states attorneys, domestic violence advocates, private attorneys and the like.
And now — following her intuition, her heart and her faith, Dymond, 56, is founder and CEO of Hepzibah House, a non-profit 501 (c) charity that is raising money for a residential facility where woman can go once they’re freed from trafficking.
The research is alarming. The United States Department of Justice estimates that human trafficking is an estimated $3 billion business in the United States alone. Today’s national hub is Oklahoma, because it’s a big trucking epicenter. Worldwide, an estimated 27 million people are held in slavery. In the states, an estimated 20,000 victims are trafficked annually, although some advocates think that statistic is much higher. The average victim in America? A runaway girl between the ages of 12 and 14.The thing about these callings from a higher power is this: sometimes the details are a bit sketchy. As Becky Dymond researched trafficking and networked with other advocates, she began to visualize a safe-haven complex, a recuperation home run out of at an old horse farm her husband had found for sale in western Palm Beach County.
Regina Bernadin, with the International Rescue Committee, says Dymond’s efforts to provide housing, therapy and life skill training will be a key component for recovery.
“Even though it really is modern day slavery, a lot of (people) are of the mindset that it’s something of our past,” said Regina Bernadin, with the International Rescue Committee, who works with Dymond on the Palm Beach coalition. “Part of our work is raising awareness.”
And Becky Dymond is doing that, following her calling, prayer by prayer by prayer.
Learn more at Emily Minor’s The Palm Beach Post article: Her calling: Save women enslaved in sex trade.