We had a smaller audience since many members were traveling but the speaker and George Sousa made the event very interesting and fun.
 
 
 
Herb started off with his talk on Rotary History and events. Then we had Suchandra describe what the global grant will provide for her organization in India.
 
 
Then we had George present a wonderful video on veterans to celebrate the upcoming Veteran's Day weekend.
 
## "Refuge for Women" by Dan DeSaegher
 
 
DMSB Rotary hosted Dan DeSaegher, Developmental Director for Refuge for Women, who spoke about the sensitive topic of sex trafficking in San Diego.  Today Refuge successfully operates homes in five states, and the sixth home is being planned for right here in Southern California.
 
 
Trafficking is modern day slavery, conducted by force, fraud and coercion. California is #1 on the FBI list for trafficking of American girls and boys, with San Diego being on the top ten of all U S cities engaging in a trade that generates $810 million in annual revenue. 80% of victims are US born and 85% of traffickers in California are related to San Diego gangs. The most common age of trafficked youth is 14 – 16 years. There are 3400 – 5200 victims every year. Traffickers prey on vulnerable youth that are mostly abandoned or ignored by society so they become easy victims.
 
 
Dan’s program called “Refuge for Women” provides safe houses for the recovery and rehabilitation of these trafficked victims. Right now, there are about 178 safe houses in America, providing about 600 beds for a population of about one million victims. The surprising statistic is that about 70% of rescued women do not return to the sex trade! So, the need for safe houses is great.
 


In Phase II of rehabilitation, called Healing, the rescued women are taught life skills training, goal setting, educational opportunities, financial intelligence and job placement. In Phase III they are offered Guided Independence – they get transitional housing and given more counseling in order to re-integrate with society and a more normal life.
 
He concluded by saying that his goal was to raise funds and resources to expand access to safe houses all over the country but also specifically in San Diego.
 
 
At the end, DMSB Club President Venky Venkatesh presented the speaker with the Joshua certificate that represents our club DMSB donating school supplies to schools in Malawi in the name of the speaker.
 
 
Finally, George had one more surprise for all -- his special Teddy Bear singing the song "Proud To Be An American" :-).
 
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