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.







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 The locations of the homes are unpublished, providing the opportunity for residents to be free of fear.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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


Optional Aftercare/

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



The Emergency Housing program of Refuge for Women was  established to provide emergency, non-conditional, temporary shelter to  women who are either survivors, or at risk, of human trafficking, sexual  exploitation, violence, and assault, and to provide them with access to multi sector services. As the words emergency and non-conditional indicate, the  shelters offer immediate, free safe housing for adult women.  

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 in order to establish or rebuild their support  networks and support their reintegration into the community. 

After admission to the Emergency Housing program, the survivor goes  through a reception phase during which she is welcomed and made familiar  with the shelter’s philosophy, objectives and services. Survivors in the emergency housing program are offered many different  forms of support during their 30 to 90 day stay, including:

  • Medical Care
  • Psychosocial and Therapeutic Support: Individual therapy is offered to support survivors to develop their capacities to understand their own  emotions and learn how best to enter into recovery. Group therapy activities,  including substance use disorder treatment, equine and art therapy,  daily coaching sessions are part of the psychosocial support program. All  psychosocial services are provided in-house and support is available 24/7. 
  • Case management: Targeted case managers provide survivors with the  opportunity to express their needs, priorities and wishes and work with  them to develop an individualized service plan. Such plans are designed  to facilitate the survivors’ access to health services, mental health and  psychosocial support, legal assistance, job placement, vocational training,  social services, longer-term housing and other services. 
  • Education, skills building and job placement: Different educational activities  are provided such as vocational training and activities to build life skills, for  example in communication skills, stress and anger management, resource allocation and budgeting. They are also encouraged to participate in targeted  psychosocial support activities (e.g. pottery classes, jewelry making and  painting). 
  • Peer-to-peer support services: The peer-to-peer support program enables  survivors to recognize and appreciate their individual strengths, to support  themselves in their recovery and to develop a mentoring relationship with  another survivor who has been trained in peer support services. 
  • Recreation: Weekly activities are offered.

*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.


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. 


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

Our History

Refuge for Women, Incorporate, a 501(c)3 organization, formed in January, 2009 in Lexington, KY, and was founded by Ked and Michelle Frank. Ked currently serves as the President of the national Refuge for Women organization. During the time prior to starting Refuge, Ked had a series of pivotal conversations with the leader of a group doing outreach to women in local strip clubs. Although the outreach had been ongoing for three years, the women who wanted help with escaping had no long-term places to go. In response to this need, Refuge for Women opened its first location in Kentucky in 2009. It is a non-profit, faith-based organization that provides long-term care for women who are survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, offering them a new beginning. Since that time, Refuge for Women has served more than 100 women and received $3 million in donations contributed by more than 3,000 supporters.

National Leadership

Ked Frank
Founder | President

Ked is the Founder/President of Refuge for Women. Ked is a graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Liberty University with a degree in Professional Counseling. Ked spent two and a half years working in a men’s recovery facility in southern Ohio before serving on staff at Southland Christian Church. He has been married to Michelle for 20 years and has three children, Nathaniel, Julianna and Bailey.

Jade Cook
Financial Manager

Jade was the Bookkeeper and Administrative assistant at Refuge for Women for 2 years before becoming the Financial Manager. She was born and raised in Lexington, KY. After graduating from high school, she attended UK, where she fell more in love with Christ through attending the Christian Student Fellowship. After joining the staff there in 2003, she quickly realized she had a heart for ministry and non-profits. Helping women out of the sex industry was a burden on her heart, and she had already been volunteering with Bruised Reed at Southland Christian Church for almost 2 years. Jade and her husband have 3 daughters.

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.

Nancy Francis
Executive Assistant

Nancy is the Executive Assistant. She comes to Refuge with over 30 years experience in Administrative, Accounting, and Operations in a wide variety of industries. Nancy has experience with ministry creation and administration from creating an accredited preschool/elementary school with a local church coalition. Originally from Wisconsin, she has called Lexington home for over 25 years. Nancy is widowed and has one daughter (26).

Nikki Instone
National Program Director

Nikki serves as the National Program Director. She is also a Clinical Psychologist in private practice and with Teledoc Health, Inc. 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 travels to India with a non-profit that helps women who’ve been rescued from sex trafficking.

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 

Bud Simon – Mission Consultant with TMS Global 

Dr. Carson Castleman – Veteran in Adult Education and is the Vice President of Education and Chief Innovation Officer at Indiana Wesleyan University

Curtis Swisher – Retired after 30.5 years with The Dow Chemical Company.  Owner of MyCareerQuest.com and the Career Launch Club podcast

Lori King – Head of Global Strategic Program Office, Amadeus IT, a travel technology company. 

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

Matthew Smith – Currently holds the title of Senior Consultant representing American Philanthropic.  Prior to this position he held the title of Regional Development Director at the Nevada Policy Research Center