New horse ranch aims to help local victims of human trafficking - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

New horse ranch aims to help local victims of human trafficking

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Graysville, TN (WRCB) -

There will soon be a new place that local victims of human trafficking can turn.

Blazing Hope Ranch in Graysville is expected to help women who escape to heal and have a new beginning.

David and Jolien Haggard are making it their mission to help some of these women recover.

The average age of girls who are abducted and sold into human trafficking is 13 years old.     There are thousands of survivors, but resources for victims are scarce.

"There is this perception that human trafficking is 'out there' or 'over there', on the other side of the ocean, or just in big cities and far away from the security of our homes," David said.  "But in reality, anywhere there are humans and there are people who are willing to exploit humans, there is going to be the possibility of trafficking."

He explained how the ranch will use equestrian therapy to help trafficking survivors, while they live on site for 18-24 months.

The idea was born nearly 15 years ago. The Haggard's dream became a reality with recent help from a local church.

"The blessing is just enormous," said David.

Soddy Daisy's Mile Straight Baptist Church donated the land, free of charge.

"It was just a dream come true for us," said Pastor Tom Goss.

The 100-acre property was the former site of the church's youth camp. It sat vacant for years, but giving it away was an easy choice, knowing it will help those in need.

"This was a Christ mandate, that we help those who can't help themselves," Goss said. "I know it's true in a lot of areas, a lot of people. But none more so than this."

With help from community, the ranch could be built by the end of this year. Any contractors or other groups who'd like to volunteer should email blazinghopetn@gmail.com.

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