Community Partner Highlight: Refuge for Women North Texas

This week we get to interview the amazing executive director for Refuge for Women, Abby Germer

  1. Your name and title? Abby Germer  -  Executive Director
  1. What is your organization and what does it do? 

Refuge for Women North Texas - Refuge for Women is a non-profit, organization providing specialized long-term care for women who have escaped sex trafficking or sexual exploitation.

  1. What is your organization’s mission? 

Our mission is to empower sexually exploited women to live a life of freedom through faith-based, residential

healing programs

  1. Why did you choose to work in this field? 

I went on a mission trip in 2009 and learned about Human Trafficking in India. That is when my heart was captured for this cause. Being a voice for the voiceless pricked my heart because often times the people who are being trafficked see no way out and we have to advocate for them and provide a place of healing so that they can have a better life and heal from all the trauma.

  1. What led you to work with the Center for Leadership and Service?

We love working with students as they are our future. The insight, energy and current pulse of what is going on is so important for us to keep up to date on. With UNT being in Denton County, it is very important for us to be plugged into the campus community as they are a high target for traffickers.

  1. What is your favorite initiative that you have worked on so far?

This past spring, we launched a social enterprise called Survivor Made. This provides employment for our residents as they work through the program as they make beautiful handmade leather goods. This provides learning a new skill and trade, job resume building as well as an optional career path as they continue to grow in the program and within this workspace. When Covid hit in March, we had to find an alternative job placement for our residents as we were not comfortable placing them in a public workspace. This has been a HUGE success for us and we have sold handbags all over the USA.

  1. What would you say to students who want to get involved?

Please reach out and see what we have to help with. It can be from helping us address letters to go out in the mail, possible job within our organization, host an awareness event with your friends and let us come and share about trafficking and how to stay safe, be on alert on signs of a potential trafficker so that you all can help each other. We also have internships available, if that is something you need.