In 2017, Abolishion launched a social enterprise called ROAM Living. ROAM makes high quality leather products of distinction and seeks to intentionally create jobs for survivors of human trafficking. We make leather laptop and notebook covers as well as key chains and luggage tags.
'We started ROAM last year with lots of work on product design and trialling our products in various markets,' said Leanne Rhodes, CEO and founder of Abolishion. 'We're not 100% there yet but we have seen what the impact of having a job has on survivors.'
'If I had to choose between running a shelter for survivors, a drop in centre or running a business to employ them, I would choose the business as the first choice, knowing what I know now. Obviously, all aspects are important, but I have been amazed at the healing that comes from doing work that matters and being able to make decisions for your own life instead of living on hand outs.'
'The facts are that if we provide housing and no way to earn an income then survivors will never become independent, which is what it really means to be free. I've seen first hand how having a job increases their dignity, and sense of self worth as well as the financial means to make decisions for themselves.'
ROAM is not just about employment, we are employment that cares. Each job also provides ongoing education, time off to do much needed counselling, therapy and time to attend the medical and legal appointments that survivors so often have to face. We are also an understanding work environment that knows that the survivor may have an emotional outburst now and then or may be displaying unusual behaviour as a result of their trafficking trauma.
Many survivors often struggle to settle into employment after their ordeal of being trafficked. It is quite common that they will either lose or leave their first four or five jobs because of behavioural or trauma issues. We work to create a working environment that can deal with these issues whilst also encouraging self esteem and healing. Our dream is that one day survivors will run every aspect of the business.
ROAM is currently looking for committed volunteers that would to willing to sell and distribute ROAM products across the world. If you are interested, please let us know. It's a great way to practically help survivors rebuild their lives.
We would love for people to get the word out about ROAM and of course, buy our products! We know you'll love them and you'll be helping to keep a survivor employed at the same time.
You can purchase our products at roamliving.com.