Our model has 20 years of success behind it.
Magdalene Omaha is part of a national network of sister organizations to Thistle Farms/Magdalene Nashville, where this model was founded by Becca Stevens in 1997. Their justice enterprise, Thistle Farms, is now the largest survivor-run small business in the United States, and their model has spread to over 30 communities across the country. In twenty years of operations in Nashville, they have found that every single woman who enters their program has a story that begins with a rape – the average age of the first assault is between 7-11. The average age these women began living on the streets is between 14-16. Many of them have spent decades battling through repeated rapes, violence, other trauma, and drug addiction.
The Magdalene Nashville residential community recovery program has achieved stunning results. In its twenty years of operation, 84% of the women who enter the program graduate clean and sober two years later. Two-thirds of them have maintained long-term sobriety and economic self-sufficiency living independently after graduation. Compare that to people who enter traditional rehab programs and the numbers actually flip. While the Magdalene program has achieved a 66% success rate in long-term sobriety, the U.S. government’s findings are that 60-70% of people who complete traditional rehab programs will use again within a year. This is not a criticism of traditional programs which do good work. It’s a testament to how hard it is to overcome addiction, and how well this model works for the unique needs of this population.
Omaha's Sex Trafficking Problem
As noted in “Nebraska’s Commercial Sex Market,” published by the Women’s Fund of Omaha in 2017:
- On average each month, 900 unique individuals are sold for sex in the state of Nebraska.
- On average each month, 675 of those individuals are sold in Omaha.
- That means that today, over 20 people will be sold for sex in Omaha, most of them several times, and the majority are sold through coercion (trafficked).
We don't do this work alone.
Our program is one component of addressing the large and complex issue of trafficking. See below for information on other organizations in Omaha and Nebraska, as well as resources to learn more about trafficking. You can also learn more about trafficking and our model by hosting a speaker at your gathering or organization.