Here are five recommendations by human trafficking survivors to the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.
Beginning at the tender age of five, Kimberly Benson experienced an extremely traumatic life. Unfortunately, her hardships included several episodes of physical and sexual abuse by family members and from those who she thought she could trust. Her unhealthy, addition-centered upbringing caused her to turn to negative influences for validation, which led her down a path of violent relationships, sexual exploitation and near-death experiences. Despite the abuse and trauma she encountered, she persevered and overcame the evil that tried to engulf her.
Daryl crossed Kimberly’s path at a time when feelings of worthlessness still firmly gripped her life. Yet, Daryl’s innate gift to genuinely care for someone who had been previously abused finally planted the action behind the word “love” in front of her own eyes. Daryl’s actions revealed that not all men manipulate, hurt and abuse to express themselves; positive and healthy relationships can and do exist.
With Daryl’s support, Kimberly’s life was headed in the right direction. However, as they looked out at a world full of hurting people, they realized there was hardly “a way out” for these afflicted individuals. The Bensons knew they must extend their hands to help them. Headlining their lives, the mantra “nothing changes if nothing changes” fueled their passion and conviction to feed the hungry, to shelter the homeless, clothe the naked and to speak up for those who could not speak for themselves. Through Kimberly’s experiences and Daryl’s innate gift, they wanted to fulfill their purpose to love the unloved.
Daryl and Kimberly came to the realization that only through education, edification and empowerment could they engender actual change. Founded in 2004 and incorporated in 2007, A Bridge of Hope Ministries began educating churches and faith-based groups, civic groups, emergency and first responders, non-profit organizations and the overall community. A Bridge of Hope equips these groups to help people who have been addicted, incarcerated, abused (in all forms) and/or involved in human trafficking. Divinely united, Daryl and Kimberly Benson have made it their life’s mission to help all people—guiding them from their pasts into their destinies—through A Bridge of Hope.
To restore lives and rebuild hope for those who are hungry, imprisoned, victimized and broken