HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS?
On November 1, 2016, all NightLight Atlanta programming transitioned to the Atlanta Dream Center! We are excited for this strategic, unifying move in the city of Atlanta. (Read our full announcement here.)
We are in the process of fully transitioning staff and the programming described below to the Atlanta Dream Center. If you are interested in getting involved, please visit www.atldreamcenter.com. If you would like to connect with a representative of NightLight International, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About NightLight Atlanta
NightLight Atlanta addresses the complex issues surrounding commercial sexual exploitation through prevention, intervention, restoration, and education.
Atlanta’s sports venues and convention centers, combined with the world’s busiest passenger airport and booming adult entertainment industry, facilitate an environment conducive for commercial sexual exploitation.
Commercial Sexual Exploitation occurs when anything of value (i.e., money, drugs, shelter, food, clothes, etc.) is given in exchange for a sex act (i.e., stripping, pole dancing, lap dancing, erotic massage, escort services, prostitution, phone sex hotlines, internet sex chat rooms, pornography, etc.).
Commercial Sexual Exploitation is harmful because it takes advantage of individuals in vulnerable situations — having little to no choices — and commodifies the innate human need for connection and belonging. While there is a range of experiences, the experience of commercial sexual exploitation can include physical and sexual assault, rape, anxiety, depression, insomnia, flashbacks, emotional numbing, dissociative disorders, brain damage, and murder.
In the United States, the average age of entry into prostitution is between the ages of 11 and 14 years old (United States Department of Justice). Poverty, abuse, lack of education, racial oppression, and red light neighborhoods are push factors for entry into gang activity, drugs, abusive relationships, and prostitution. As such, we build healthy, loving, Christ-centered relationships with children and their families in vulnerable communities to break the cycles of violence, abuse and addiction for generations to come.
NightLight offers the following programs for children at risk in our community:
- Weekly Kids’ Club: Weekly programming in which we play games, tell stories, make art, pray for each other, and worship God; a place where children and teens are affirmed in their identities and dreams as unique individuals, as we believe that young people make positive life choices when they know the Truth of who they are
- Kids’ Cabin: A safe and supervised space just for youth to hang out, play games, read a book, or chat, which fosters healthy social development and effective communication skills
- Sunday Trips to Church: A Sunday morning walk to worship and youth Sunday School at our neighborhood church, Grace Midtown
- Tutoring: Weekly educational enrichment, study skills, and assistance with homework aimed to promote academic growth and lifelong learning
- Mentoring: Caring adults paired with children and teens to provide extra encouragement, support, and guidance
- Huddles: Small groups designed to promote a deep sense of intrinsic strength, value, and purpose; to develop healthy patterns of relating; and to cultivate skills to navigate potentially abusive or exploitative situations as children and teens face the realities of living in a highly sexualized society
- Other Services: Summer Camp, Community Service Projects, Field Trips & Excursions
NightLight believes that children and teens are powerful leaders who can effect the changes they want to see in their neighborhoods.
Intervention is an initiative of NightLight focused on building healthy, trusting relationships with men and women in Atlanta’s sex industry.
- Outreach Team: Builds relationships with individuals who are working in strip clubs, brothels, and hotels; individuals soliciting on the street; individuals who are pimping; and individuals who are buying sex; NightLight ministers to an average of over 500 women in the sex industry every year (Note: This number does not include men.); meets weekly
- House Church: A safe place for individuals in Atlanta’s sex industry to bring their families to share a meal, sing worship songs, pray, and hear encouraging words from the Lord; meets weekly
- Medical Clinics: An opportunity for individuals working in various strip clubs to have their physical needs addressed by volunteer doctors and nurses from around Metro Atlanta; in partnership with the Christian Medical & Dental Association of Atlanta
Restoration is probably the most difficult aspect in addressing commercial sexual exploitation. It is a long process, full of frustrations and hardships. This process stretches us beyond our experiences or abilities and our understanding of Godʼs grace and mercy are often put to the test.
The physical, psychological, economical, spiritual, and relational needs of survivors are vast, legitimate, and ongoing. To address these needs, NightLight Atlanta provides the following services to survivors of commercial sexual exploitation:
- Thrive Institute: A 12 month, non-residential program designed for adult men and women who have expressed a desire and motivation for change. Through services and incentives that focus on the specific needs of each individual, this program empowers individuals whose lives have been characterized by chaos, crisis, and surviving to attain lives characterized by thriving
- Services: Includes mentoring, individual and group counseling, job preparedness and training, spiritual support and community, and referrals to individuals who do not meet the eligibility requirements for the Thrive Institute
- Drop-In Center: A service in our vulnerable neighborhood in the heart of the city specializing in crisis management
We recognize that we could not address the issue of commercial sexual exploitation holistically without also addressing the sexual brokenness that leads to demand. Were we to no longer have such a high demand for commercial sex, individuals would no longer be victimized.
Therefore, members of NightLight Atlanta’s team travel to speak at various events and compose publications covering the following topics:
- Commercial Sexual Exploitation
- Prostitution & Trafficking – the similarities between both of them
- Modern Day Slavery
- Childhood Sexual Abuse
- Sexual Addiction
- Pornography & Media
- Gender Identity
- Sexting & Other Disturbing Trends
- Counseling, Mentoring, & How To Be A Good Friend To People Who Are Hurting
- Partnering With God – and seeing miracles!