NEWS
  5/17/2017 : Metanoia Manor celebrates ribbon cutting ceremony for human trafficking safe haven
Metanoia Manor hosts ribbon cutting ceremony for human trafficking safe haven

Several years ago, the concept of a safe haven for underage human trafficking victims in Louisiana was just a vision. On April 16, 2017, this concept became a reality with the ribbon cutting ceremony for Metanoia Manor. Metanoia Manor was created through a partnership between Metanoia Inc., a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization run by Father Jeff Bayhi and the Hospitaller Sisters of Mercy. This partnership between clergy, and a non-profit is the first of its kind in the United States. Visiting Vatican Bishop Marcelo Sanchez-Sorondo, sent to the U.S. to work on human trafficking issue said, “This model that you have here could be a model not only for your country, but also for our world.” The home will house up to sixteen adolescent human trafficking survivors. The nuns who will run the home are trained nurses and social workers who will provide emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual support for the survivors. They will live in a loving, home-like environment, and receive the education and care needed so that upon completion of the program, the ultimate goal would be integration back into society.

           Law enforcement will play an important role in this model by working with the staff of Metanoia Manor to determine which girls have been trafficked and whether or not the qualify to live in the home. Louisiana law enforcement officers have also increased their efforts in the fight against human trafficking, and through these efforts more children are being rescued from human trafficking in every part of our state. Representatives from the law enforcement community included: Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association President, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, West Baton Rouge Sheriff Mike Cazes, along with representatives from the Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police and the Louisiana State Police. "I'm honored that we can be a part of this unprecedented collaboration of government, non-profit and clergy," East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, LSA President said. "Metanoia Manor brings the fight against Human Trafficking full circle by taking the victim beyond short-term rescue into long-term rescue. As law enforcement, we can't fight this problem alone. It is imperative that we have a safe place these young women can go to receive the care and guidance they need. By all of us working together, we can not only recover these victims from their oppressors, we can work to save them from the continuing effects of such abuse."

The LSA first became actively involved in the fight against human trafficking in 2009 when they partnered with Father Jeff Bayhi to host training on the issue of human trafficking and its rampant spread throughout the world. Louisiana is part of one of the busiest human trafficking corridors in America, stretching along I-10 from Houston to New Orleans and eastward. Human trafficking cases in Louisiana rose 25% last year, and almost 50% of Louisiana’s victims were children. Since 2009 the LSA has continued to host human trafficking awareness trainings in an effort to keep Louisiana’s sheriffs and members of our community up to date on the issue.  The Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association is proud to be a partner in the fight against human trafficking.

For more information please visit: www.metanoia-inc.org

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