is the state, both physical and mental, of no longer being enslaved.
We are committed to the freedom of all victims of sex trafficking. We believe that this freedom starts the moment that this woman takes a step in her journey of liberation – the step from victim to survivor. We are committed to supporting the inches of growth on these journeys, because change is not instant, but a cultivated way over time with intention.
For those on the road to recovery, this means a commitment and openness to change, because growth requires change. We seek to create an environment that tips each person toward goodness rather than away from it, where we can pick up new habits that lead to transformation. We learn to say no to some things so we can say yes to others. We find that freedom is not enslaving, but there is room to grow, to change and to become the women we were created to be, not the slaves we were forced to be.
we are created to love and be loved.
So much of what every survivor deals with is the lack of love or the effect of twisted love. Amirah exists to reorder this destruction of our very basic human need in a way that brings life and healing. We hold to and believe in the power of unconditional love as the guiding light of all we do – staff and survivor alike. As the staff of Amirah, we are committed to loving every survivor in our home longer than she can mistrust us. We believe that as she moves through her journey of healing, true love will take root and grow in her heart.
For those that are on this journey of healing, this means a commitment to receiving love, even when it feels impossible. We find that love heals a multitude of evils, and that when healing happens, love can freely be given as it was truly intended to be.
is the quality of one’s person to be whole, honest and undivided.
We recognize that this protection at all costs has been a way to survive for so many women who were caught in the trap of sexual exploitation. However, we are committed to providing a place where integrity becomes what each survivor stands for rather than the code of living on the streets. We firmly believe that there is a better way and that true healing will exist when a survivor is undivided in herself.
For those that are on this journey, this means working on their inner selves and motives are a priority. A commitment to working hard, even when it feels like the best outcome will not happen, is a part of this process. It is a process, but we believe that when a survivor no longer has to survive, but instead is able to live freely, she will feel inner wholeness again with herself and with the community around her.
is the belief in things that we cannot yet see and a determination to see these things come to be.
Nothing is instantaneous. Change is not an immediate switch, but a long obedience in the same direction. At Amirah, we take the long view. We look ahead to days that are yet to come and focus on what we cannot yet see, what we dream for, what we hope for. Our energies go into that process each day, the work each day that will help us to see those dreams and hopes come true. There is a disturbing certainty to this.
For those that are on this journey, this means that each day is a choice to see the larger picture rather than remain fixed on the instant, gratifying need. To know that sacrifices are made for today so that our hopes and dreams will truly be fulfilled for many years to come. Hope is a choice. Hope is a journey. Hope is work.
true peace does not exist until there is justice, restoration, and forgiveness. Peace is not the absence of conflict; because wherever there are humans there will be conflict.
Peace does not mean passivity, but an interruption of injustice – it is active. It is a revolution of love that sets both the oppressed and the oppressor free. We are committed to the restoration of individual lives. This is the work of peace, and our hope is that each woman who experiences this restoration will continue in its way by walking the hard road of forgiveness, which leads to true peace and freedom.
For those that are on this journey, speaking honestly with one another for the sake of conflict resolution is necessary for each community member to experience peace. Peacemaking begins with what we can change – ourselves – and continues in the community and society at large by creative and courageous responses to injustice and violence.
is the state and value of every individual that means they are worthy of honor.
We are committed to respecting and appreciating each person’s innate value. We strive to be dignified in our actions and seek to see the dignity in each human life. We are slow to speak, slow to anger and quick to listen.
For those on the journey of liberation, we recognize that this is about the restoration of dignity. Restoration means the ability to stand tall in full personhood, the ability to lean into the person we are created to be. Dignity means facing the ways we have been degraded and calling these ways for what they are – destructive lies. We are committed to the restoration of dignity, to the process of coming out of the darkness of degradation step-by-step, inch-by-inch, until we are living in and with the value that belongs to us as a human being.
is the process of treating others with the honor they deserve because of their innate dignity.
We recognize that respect is earned in the world by our actions, choices and words. We choose to respect and honor each other, not because we have earned this, but because we choose to live in community. We choose to respect ourselves as we journey towards our restored identity. We choose to respect those who we disagree with, treating them with kindness. We choose to respect those who call us out about our actions and own our part, rather than blaming others.
Respect is both earned and freely given. For those on this journey, there is a commitment to becoming the woman that can earn respect through the work of honesty in community, through love in the midst of pain, through kindness in the face of anger.
is strength in the face of fear, pain, grief and despair.
We are committed to persevering with hope as we journey through unfamiliar territory, face challenges, and stand for justice. We seek to protect the courage that each woman possesses as she enters our doors, and to foster the growth of courage that is necessary to walk the road of healing.
A journey of liberation means walking through the messiness of the past of exploitation. This takes courage to stare down the darkness and bring light into it. One cannot escape the darkness without turning on the light. It is courage each day that must be picked up – courage to face the pain, courage to look at the past, courage to own up to my mistakes, courage to forgive those who do not deserve forgiveness, courage to be healed treating the deep wounds rather than merely placing a band aid on the situation, courage to realize that this is a process than can take years, not just hours. Liberation, freedom, and healing take courage. Someone that will truly be liberated will choose to walk through their past, rather than think they are stronger by not facing it.
is the quality of seeing others in a favorable light without their having to earn it.
We believe that all we do must be done with grace, because we all need to be seen favorably, but none of us has perfectly earned it. Grace means that we offer kindness in the face of anger. Grace means that we speak with respect to everyone, even if they have not deserved it. Grace is a gift.
For those on this journey, grace is more easily given than received. In the life of exploitation, gifts were a path to abuse and manipulation. The commitment to restoring the act of grace in one’s life means a commitment to releasing the past ways and code of the street. It is an inner work of redemption, to take what one has known for so long and redeem the ugliness it had been to the beautiful nature it truly is.
is more than just living in the same place, but it is the commitment to cultivating an environment of belonging and collaboration.
We believe that we are better together in this journey than alone. This means that the environment we live in, the space where time is give for journeys of liberation and healing is a place of belonging and collaboration. Life at Amirah is life in community. Each participant is connected to every other participant.
For those that live in this community, the choices you make will effect, and be effected by, every other woman within the home. The hope of community is that love and grace can flourish as agents for positive change for all individuals. Therefore, every woman is expected to show support and care by her actions and words. Community is the source of the support structures each of us needs to help us survive in life. It is the commitment to honesty, realizing that honesty is the only way the community and each woman within it can learn to live and thrive.
is the quality of a person to give thanks; it is a readiness in life to show appreciation and return kindness.
We recognize that without gratitude, it is difficult to see outside of our circumstances or to identify the progress we have made. Gratitude is necessary for growth to continue; it is the soil that makes new growth possible. We seek to cultivate gratitude in the home and in the hearts of each woman so they can flourish in life.
For those on this journey, this means a commitment to see beyond oneself. There is cultivation of receiving our basic needs each day and giving thanks for these. When one’s attitude shifts to gratitude, we begin to see how beautiful the world is around us, instead of continuing to focus on the desire to return to what we have always known. Gratitude is the recognition that there is a new path ahead and a new way to live.
is the quality of being kind and giving freely of our time, talents and treasure.
We are committed to encouraging mutual generosity of time, talents and treasure. We recognize the necessity of service in order to grow in personhood. We cannot change in isolation, because isolation does not provide the context of possibility needed to motivate change. We must see that there are others who struggle more than we do, and we must learn that we have the resources to come to their aid.
As a woman journeying towards liberation, a life of service is a life of possibility, and we seek to encourage all in our program to live this life. Ghandi said, “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” As an organization, we exist because of the great generosity of many people. We view generosity as a value that emerges out of the other values – love, growth, courage, and gratitude. Generosity enables us to strengthen our own healing and recovery by giving into the healing and recovery of another. In this way, we build an economy of compassion that stands stronger and higher than the economy of government.