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Farmtown Canada - Focused on Helping Girls Who Survived Human Trafficking
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Farmtown Canada has grown their focus to provide necessary gaps in service for the benefit of deserving girls in South Western Ontario. For the past 5 years our Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers have worked tirelessly in a transitional journey. Thier intentional change to funnel resources and services to meet the ever-growing need associated in the area of human trafficking and exploitation of minor aged girls could not have been more timely.

In a CBC interview last November, Kelly Franklin, the Executive Director Farmtown Canada said that for the past five years, Farmtown Canada has focused on helping girls who have survived human trafficking.

“The farm helps about 150 girls a year”, said Franklin. “The average age is 14, but some are as young as 11. Working with animals is a proven way to help survivors deal with trauma.”

"You take the focus off of the girl, and you put it onto living in the moment, being well, being grounded, being mindful, and you can get rid of some of that PTSD immediately to do some work to help support her," said Franklin.

Human trafficking in London: Leann's story

The young trafficking survivor said spending time with animals helped her feel safe and build trust. As a result of the therapy, she said she's now living at home again and is seven months sober.

The pigs were particularly helpful, she said.

"[The pigs] are actually scared of humans, they're scared to be touched, and now the pigs will actually let me pet them which is a big thing," she said.

"It might sound stupid, but I'm scared to trust people and so are those little pigs, so it's kind of like building friendship right there."

More resources needed

Although human trafficking is a significant problem across Ontario, Farmtown Canada is the only program of its kind, said Franklin.

"There are other agencies doing work with victims, but nothing specific that is solely focused on trauma-informed human trafficking work with 18 and unders," she said.

She wants to fill the gap by expanding Farmtown throughout the province—a project that she said would require funding and buy-in from the Ontario government.

"We're speaking up to say to our government 'license it, let us test drive it, let us run the pilot, let us run the model and let us lend it to any Ontario community that would benefit from this' and even nationally," she said.

Police, hospital team up to help sex trafficking survivors

Human trafficking 'huge business here in London,' police say. The young victim of sex trafficking has a similar piece of advice for police officers: listen and try to understand.

"A teenager is a child. The best thing [the police officer] can do is understand, take a look at their situation, take a look where they came from and how they were brought up, and almost always there's a reason somebody does the things they do."

Farmtown Canada has successfully served in South-Western Ontario, Elgin, Middlesex, and London regions with support to fill in the gaps in services since 2007.

Farmtown’s Three-Pronged Approach

Prevention
  • Advocacy Awareness Training Education
  • Churches Schools Health Care Communities
  • School College University Speaks
  • Committee Collaboration
  • Police Homeland Security NGO & Agencies
  • Professionals Corporations Businesses
  • Town Halls Citizen Groups Chambers of Commerce

Intervention
  • Emergent Relief Care
  • Crisis Intake and Referral
  • Trauma PTSD Care
  • Safe Transportation
  • Harm Reduction
  • Safety Planning
  • Victim Support

Postvention
  • Advocacy Awareness Training Education
  • Churches Schools Health Care Communities
  • School College University Speaks
  • Committee Collaboration
  • Police Homeland Security NGO & Agencies
  • Professionals Corporations Businesses
  • Town Halls Citizen Groups Chambers of Commerce

Support Services are open to girls, teens and young adult women from all walks of life who have or had involvement in human trafficking, exploitation, sexual abuse, pornography, sexual coercion and sexual harm.

Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention as listed above is available to all Farmtown participants. It does not matter where a girl, teen or young women is in need, the Farmtown team starts working together where she is, how she is and with who she is. Each participant is served with individual planning and consideration. Sessions, programs and supports focus on her needs, capacity, history and future. Things ranging from emotional and personal safety, to intellectual growth to enact change to her emotional & behavioural patterns, to PTSD trauma mindfulness and mental wellness to see positive outcomes.

Our goals are always participant self-inspired, survivor-driven and result in positive impactful progress!

Support Services Intake and Interview Consideration or referral starts simply and confidentially with a phone call or an email:

519-773-2292
info@farmtowncanada.ca

Referrals and requests are welcome from:


- Participants
- Participant Family/guardians
- Workers and Supporting Agencies
- Victims Services
- Police
- EMS
- School and Guidance
- Children’s Services