About Us

Refuge for Women is a non-profit, faith based organization providing specialized long-term housing and emergency housing for women who have escaped human trafficking or sexual exploitation. With multiple locations across the U.S., Refuge for Women offers up to twelve months of safe housing, at no charge to the resident, with around the clock care as clients progress through evidence-based, trauma-informed programming. We strive to help each woman complete the program with a vision for her future, equipped to succeed and sustain a life marked with dignity and hope.

Learn more about what we have accomplished in 2022 by reading our 2022 Annual Report.

Vision

THAT EVERY WOMAN WHO IS SEXUALLY EXPLOITED WILL HAVE THE HOPE, SUPPORT, AND TOOLS NEEDED TO PURSUE HER DREAMS AND LIVE A LIFE OF FREEDOM

Mission

TO EMPOWER SEXUALLY EXPLOITED WOMEN TO LIVE A LIFE OF FREEDOM THROUGH FAITH-BASED, RESIDENTIAL HEALING PROGRAMS

Values

Safety

Refuge for Women provides long term safe housing. The locations of the homes are unpublished, providing the opportunity for residents to be free of fear. Each resident is accepted, loved and given a pathway to a better life.

Healing

Licensed and loving personnel assist residents each day on their path of wholistic healing as they are equipped with life and job skills for a successful future.

Growth

We are committed to creating more space across the United States for victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation to have long term care. Current sites will continue to be strengthened and new sites will be opened.

Faith

We are a Christ-centered organization. Opportunities for spiritual growth occur each day. We welcome residents into our program regardless of their personal beliefs.

Program Phases

Each resident receives weekly, individual and group counseling therapy. An individualized plan is developed, building on the resident’s unique strengths and addressing specific needs. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and other therapeutic strategies are implemented in order to help the residents achieve their goals and experience healing.

PHASE ONE:

Healing

Phase 1 provides stabilization and safety for victims of trauma. We provide a therapeutic atmosphere for our residents to sustain safe relationships, rebuild trust, and maintain a lifestyle of structure that promotes recovery and maturity. We have a daily schedule that includes classes, devotionals, recovery meetings, recreational activities and exercise, Bible studies, and group and individual counseling. Our classes are designed to aid in healing from things such as trauma, substance abuse, codependency, domestic violence, sexual addiction, and spirituality.

PHASE TWO:

Life skills & employment

During this phase, we equip women with the tools, training, and support to achieve and maintain a healthy, well-grounded life. Tools and training include computer education, preparing a resume, participating in mock interviews, exploring careers through internships, and receiving job placement assistance. Also, the residents are assisted with setting personal goals in the areas of higher education, financial planning, and personal growth. The women receive continued support through individualized counseling, life coaching, and attending weekly support meetings.

PHASE THREE:

optional aftercare/ employment

During this optional portion of the program, we continue to offer support, assessment, and accountability from the Program Director. Individual counseling and additional Life Skills classes are made available.

Program Types

RESIDENTIAL

EMERGENCY HOUSING

Refuge for Women operates the Emergency Housing program providing shelter, developing and rebuilding support networks, and promoting self-sufficiency for women who have been sex trafficked or commercially sexually exploited in need of a safe environment. 

The goal of the emergency housing program is to work together with female survivors to:

  • Ensure their safety and security.
  • Provide tailored, individualized services.
  • Empower them to support one another and themselves.
  • Develop service plans with them to establish or rebuild their support networks and support their reintegration into the community

Survivors in the emergency housing program are offered many different forms of support during their up to 90 day stay, including:

  • Immediate basic assistance.
  • Security.
  • Basic Medical Stabilization.
  • Psychosocial and Therapeutic Support.
  • Case management.
  • Education, skills building and job placement.
  • Recreation.

Refuge for Women provides emergency housing. The location of the emergency house is unpublished, providing the opportunity for our clients to be free of fear. Each client is accepted, loved, and given a pathway to a better life.

A structured program is in place for daily progress towards the clients desired goals. Clients can stay in Refuge for Women Emergency Housing program for a maximum of 90 days. Professionally licensed mental health providers, medical personnel, and loving direct service professionals assist clients each day on their path of holistic healing as they are equipped with life skills for a successful future.

Refuge for Women Emergency Housing program is a Christ-centered organization. Opportunities for spiritual growth occur each day. We welcome clients into our program regardless of their personal beliefs and all religious activities are completely voluntary.

*We are unable to serve women with children that also need housing, women in need of a medically supervised detoxification program or women who are experiencing acute mental health crises.

CARF_Seal web
ASAM button - 1

Las Vegas Emergency House

Pittsburgh Emergency House

TRANSITIONAL LIVING

The Refuge for Women Transitional Living House is offered to women who have graduated from the Refuge for Women program and/or to women who have graduated from a similar program within the last 12 months. (Similar program must be for women exploited by the sex industry and a minimum of nine months in length). Qualification for Transitional Living is based on your application, availability of housing and the recommendations of the Program Director. Women applying for the Transitional Living House that did not complete the Refuge for Women nine-month program will need to have a letter of recommendation from the Program Director of the program they completed. 

TRANSITIONAL LIVING SUPPORT OPTIONS

Upon completion of program requirements, you will be an official graduate of the Refuge for Women. After graduating from our 9 month program, you may be eligible for one of 3 options:

  • On site after care in the program house (only available for current residents of Refuge for Women)
  • Transitional living/casework in Refuge managed housing (where available)
  • Transitional care/casework while you live off site in housing of your choosing

EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP

To assist women survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in their lifelong journey to healing, Refuge for Women has launched the Education Scholarship Program for residents and graduates of the Refuge program.

Scholarship recipients may choose to attend Indiana Wesleyan University and take advantage of the existing partnership between Refuge for Women and IWU or attend an accredited post-secondary institution/accredited trade school of their choosing.

To qualify, residents must have been active in a Refuge program for 6 months, be in good standing with the organization, and be recommended by a Refuge for Women staff member.

National Leadership

Abby Germer

President

Abby has been passionate about Human Trafficking since 2009 when she found herself helping women in the Red Light District of Mumbai, India. She was on the startup team for Refuge for Women North Texas in 2015 where she initially served as Board Chair. In 2017, Abby came on staff as Program Director and has been serving as the Executive Director since 2018. Her years of experience in both non-profit work and walking alongside survivors have helped her gain insight and made her more passionate about this cause.

Nikki Instone

National Executive Director of Operations

Nikki is currently serving as National Executive Director of Operations. Previously she served as the National Program Director. She is also a Clinical Psychologist who provided therapy for over 20 years. She was on the Refuge for Women National Board of Directors for 2+ years and served as Committee Chair. Nikki is passionate about sex trafficking and began this work traveling to India to help a non-profit that serves women who’ve been rescued from sex trafficking.

Leigh Ranson

HR & Corporate Communications

Leigh is involved with Human Resources and Corporate Communications for Refuge for Women. She began with our organization as a volunteer – leading a Bible study each week in our safe house. In 2014, she transitioned to a staff position. Her previous experience is in Human Resources at Southland Christian Church. Leigh is a graduate of the University of Louisville and lives with her husband and three children in beautiful Danville, Kentucky.

Alicia Peoples

Director of Advancement

Alicia Peoples is a native New Mexican. She graduated from Trinity University with a B.A. in Political Science and from Wake Forest University School of Law with a Juris Doctor. As a young adult Alicia learned the ropes of communications, public relations, and fundraising working on political campaigns, including five years as the Vice President and President of an East Texas political action committee. Transitioning to Health and Human service organizations, Alicia has 15 years of development experience in the DFW metroplex. 

Board of Directors

David Diers
VP of Technology for Cox Communications Southwest with over three decades of engineering experience

Duncan Gardiner
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM  Professional with Thrivent Financial since 2016

Marty Lamb
Currently an amateur baseball scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, working in the Dodger organization for 22 years

Todd Veirs
Assistant General Counsel & Associate VP at Humana

Tammy McCord
Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Karen Schultz
Retired – Former Executive Director, Refuge for Women Chicago

Debi Dunham
Senior Client Experience Leader, The Veritus Group

Ked Frank, founder of Refuge for Women, spent 13 years building and leading Refuge for Women. He and Michelle have been married for 20 years and have three children. The Refuge for Women mission and vision continue on in his honor.

"Of course, founding Refuge for Women was one of the greatest joys of our lives. We will always champion the mission of Refuge for Women—and hope that you do, too. Let’s continue to work on behalf of every woman and child in harm’s way!"
- Ked Frank