Episode 20: Turning Pain into Purpose, True Fair Trade and Battling against Sexual Exploitation
When you walk into Thistle Farms, you enter the lively atmosphere of a bustling cafe, where you are served by survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. Thistle Farms’ 20 years have seen thousands of women’s lives transformed from ashes to beauty, as they are rescued, counseled, educated and employed. In episode 9, we heard from Dorris and Katrina, beneficiaries of Thistle Farms. For this podcast, Bob Waliszewski had the privilege of flying to Nashville to talk with this incredible organization’s founder, Becca Stevens.
It all began when her young son pointed at a billboard from his carseat and asked “why is she smiling?” Turning around, Becca saw an ad featuring a minimally-clad woman seductively sprawled across the board. It struck her that “Someday that little boy is not gonna ask that question. Someday it’s going to seem normal to him…I want him to say ‘we know what it means to love and respect women and have compassion for people we see.’” Thistle Farms was started that same day.
The idea behind Becca’s organization is to give someone the kind of healing opportunity that she would want for herself. She doesn’t want to be the heroin, just a host relying on her tight-knit community to help her create beautiful healing spaces, rich with resources for the women who come there, leaving their old lives behind. A common idea revolving around people on the streets, in sex trafficking, prostitution, or with addictions is that they don’t want help. Tune in as Becca addresses this question, as well as her heartbreaking yet inspirational story, and how Thistle Farms is now part of a global movement to free women. Also join Kelsey as she wraps up the episode with a discussion on sex trafficking: how do we respond to it? How can we battle this worldwide atrocity? Listen in and join the discussion.
Check out thistlefarms.org to learn more, shop, or donate.
We’re on Instagram, looking forward to your reviews, comments, and conversations surrounding these podcasts!