Signs of Hope

My mom always told me to look for and accentuate the positive. Somehow this past year feels extra fitting for living by those words. A year when Silver Linings – signs of hope – were more needed than ever.

Ten years ago, Guardian Group was a vision – an idea of how to help solve an unimaginable problem in our world. Fast-forward to today, and we have fashioned not just a solution but a team of Guardians all around the country. What started with a few has now become an army of thousands. For a decade Guardian Group has been enabling and empowering professionals and people around the US to recover victims of trafficking and prosecute those responsible for this abuse.

The year of 2020 has been historical in countless ways and many of us were forced to pivot and adapt throughout the year. The fight against sex trafficking has been no different. Predators ramped up the recruitment of victims the moment schools closed. Children were given the stay- at-home order and suddenly online at a much higher volume allowing traffickers to recruit from the safety of their own living room couches. Alongside the recruitment of children, many young adults lost jobs and fell into a state of vulnerability created by a lack of income making them prime targets for traffickers as well.

Simultaneously, there was a drastic decline in law enforcement’s ability to interact with victims due to the pandemic and the events thereafter. Second only to friends and family, law enforcement is the most likely place for victims of sex trafficking to find help. This combination of events has only increased the complexities associated with combating domestic sex trafficking. However, as we experienced a drastic increase in the need for our support, we have also witnessed an extreme outpouring of support and concern for those being exploited in this nature. This outpouring has been one of the silver linings of 2020 for us and will continue to encourage our team to keep fighting to ensure that every victim of this crime gets to feel this level of love and concern for their well-being.

Our hearts are full of gratitude for the many who have sustained us over the years. Our mission is crystal clear as we kick off this new year running full speed toward our goal…until all are free.

In the midst of the pain and hardships of this last year I invite you to see with me the signs of hope all around us. There are brave Guardians among us. You can be one, too – join the fight!

Jeff Keith

Founder + CEO