SOUTHERN Ore. — A local organization is hoping to create a safe place children who are victims of sex trafficking.

Redemption Ridge started demolition of an old medical building on Monday. They are working to transform the space into a facility to treat up to seven victims at a time.

Within the program, the facility will offer things like school programs and therapy to help the girls get life experience and recover from their ordeal.

For Redemption Ridge’s Outreach Coordinator, Ella Smillie, was a victim of trafficking herself growing up. She says the problem is more prominent than many people realize.

“I think first of all is just acknowledging that it exists. It exists here in the United States and that exists here in Southern Oregon. This is happening to children in every type of family. So not everybody wants to acknowledge that it could happen to your child, it could happen to your neighbors child, or it could happen to your best friend’s child,” said Smillie.

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