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Addiction Recovery & Mental Health

Healing Thistles: Fortifying Survivors with Hope, Home, and Future

1 min read

Heal Trafficking Survivors Through Love, Community, and Business

The damage done to a woman’s life after decades of repeated prostitution, sex trafficking, abuse and addiction is deep. In 2017, 8,800 women in U.S. lived this fate, with 71% involving sex trafficking. Many of these women’s stories involve a rape incident between the ages of 9-11 and ensuing street selling by the age of 14. With little to no education, no work experience, and no hope of escape, many victims ultimately give up hope for a better life. .

Innovative Solution:

Thistle Farms in Nashville believes women who have survived trafficking, prostitution, and addiction deserve a second chance at life. The organization has a groundbreaking model that helps female survivors heal through the power of love, the safety of community, and the dignity of a job. Magdalene is the name of a two-year residential program that offers women a peaceful place to live and receive support while they focus on living sober, honest, and self-sufficient lives. Thistle Farms employs female survivors who handcraft natural products. After retail, proceeds are re-invested into creating more jobs. The model has been so successful, 40+ organizations nationwide have created programs based on Thistle Farms’ model of recovery.


Thistle Farms believes love is the most powerful force in the world and the results demonstrate this. In the last year:
Thistle Farms has provided 9,000+ nights of safe, supportive housing, for women recovering from life on the streets; 825 hours of counseling and therapy for survivors, ensuring mental well-being; 664 medical appointments to ensure physical health; 74,800 hours of employment through social enterprises resulting in over $1.5M in income for women survivors; 1,300 women survivors employed through global partnerships. Additionally, 85% of graduates are able to remain sober, employed, and able to successfully live on their own.

Learn more about Thistle Farms at www.ThistleFarms.org

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