Services For Survivors of Sex Trafficking

Shine The Light

Honolulu (KHON2) – Living808 is helping to shine a light on the issue of sex trafficking and services that are available for survivors through local non-profit Ho‘ōla Nā Pua.

Ho‘ōla Nā Pua is committed to the prevention of sex trafficking and providing care for children who have been exploited and have a need to feel safety. “We offer a spectrum of services that look to provide prevention, intervention and wraparound services,” says Joy Tanimura Winquist, Director of Programs, Ho‘ōla Nā Pua  “They need consistent stable support from adults in their life — especially during transitional times (placements, programs, independent living); proper mental health intervention, adjunct therapies, and resources to help them process their trauma.”

Since 2014, Ho‘ōla Nā Pua has educated over 9,000 students with its in-school prevention program including Oahu, Hawaii island and Maui.

“It’s not about restarting their life,” explains Winquist. “They are learning how to keep living in light of what has happened to them. They are learning to not be defined by the things that have happened to them, to build an identity outside of being trafficked. They struggle with a sense of shame and learning to be able to move past the shame.”

Services include mentoring. The Starfish Mentoring Program provides one to one mentoring that addresses the unique needs of survivors of sex trafficking and those at risk. Trained and vetted mentors serve as positive role models to program participants, ages 11-24. Mentors and mentees meet for two hours a week, every week, for a minimum of one year as a pathway toward healing, restoration, and successful social reintegration. Participants have experienced positive outcomes, such as: building safe support systems, recognizing healthy relationships and safe boundaries, school re-entrance, and graduation from school.

In addition to direct services, Ho‘ōla Nā Pua provides clinical groups in a number of care facilities where youth are often system-involved through Child Welfare and/or Juvenile Justice.  Youth in these facilities may have multiple risk factors and vulnerabilities, and many have been identified as victims of exploitation.

KHON2 and Ho‘ōla Nā Pua have partnered on a special to take a closer look at the problem and solutions including mentorship and the new Pearl Haven campus for survivors. You can support efforts by watching and making a donation.

Shine The Light: Ending Sex Trafficking with Ho‘ōla Nā Pua airs Thursday 5/6 on KHON2 at 9:30pm.

In danger, need help or know someone who does?  There are help & referral lines.

Ho‘ōla Nā Pua

24/7 Help & Referral Line



Department of Human Services Child Trafficking

808.832.1999 (Oahu)

888.398.1188 (Neighbor Islands)



For more information visit


Helpline: 808-435-9555


Instagram: @hoolanapua

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