Who we are | What we do | Why we do it
We assist in recovering hope and strengthening the lives of those impacted by sexual exploitation in our community.
We envision transformed lives filled with endless opportunities, meaningful relationships, and enduring peace while stewarding a promise to future generations to remain increasingly aware and actively engaged in confronting the distortion of our hyper-sexualized culture.
Human trafficking is a 32 billion-dollar-a-year business with sex trafficking growing at the fastest pace. It is an industry that exploits the most vulnerable members of our community. Those who experience poverty, little or no protection from family or friends, believe they have low personal worth or value and have a history of childhood sexual abuse. Sex trafficking is happening right here in our own community – in truck stops, strip clubs, erotic massage parlors, in our streets, and through escort services and online prostitution.
Since 1997, the accessibility and anonymity of Internet pornography use have significantly contributed to the abuse of trafficked men, women and children. In the United States, teenagers are targets and sought after by pimps and traffickers. Most teens are lured into the industry by a pimp posing as a boyfriend and remain there by brutal force, coercion, drug dependency, and a sense of belonging. Once trafficked, very few victims of prostitution and sex-trafficking are rescued. The average life span of a person being exploited in prostitution is seven years and the most common causes of death are drug overdose, suicide, and murder.
Founded in 2008 to serve the Harrisburg metropolitan region, Peace Promise was an all-volunteer, grassroots organization that assists in recovering hope and strengthening the lives of those impacted by sexual exploitation in our community. In 2019 we hired our first full-time employee, an Executive Director, Patty Seaman.
Peace Promise addresses the complexities of sex trafficking in the Harrisburg region by offering: outreach, intervention, and advocacy for those involved in commercial sexual exploitation; healing support and restorative care for sex trafficking survivors; and community education and awareness regarding the dehumanization and identifiers of sex trafficking, prostitution, and pornography.
Peace Promise accomplishes its work through a volunteer team of committed and dedicated individuals who represent many different faith communities located throughout Cumberland, Dauphin and York Counties. On a weekly basis, Peace Promise Outreach Volunteers visit adult entertainment venues forming friendships with the women who work there.
The dancers affectionately refer to the outreach volunteers as "the church ladies” who bring homemade dinners and desserts to share during the visits. Outreach volunteers communicate a simple message: “You are precious. You are valued. You are loved. We are here for you.”
Once a survivor is safely transitioned out of the industry, Peace Promise offers an individually customized care plan based on that woman's specific needs and goals. The plan is intended to facilitate meaningful employment, healthy relationships and loving self-care.
It is easy to read or watch a documentary about sex trafficking and become overwhelmed by the scope of the problem. It is huge. It is complex. And yet, it is very personal. It is ONE face. One woman. One name. One very specific set of circumstances that brought her to this place of exploitation. Despite the debilitating trauma, abuse, and addictions, there is hope. There is a community of women who will welcome her home and who long to see her restored and whole.
This is the mission, vision, and motivation for the work of Peace Promise.