Southfield (CW50) – The S.O.A.P. Project, which stands for Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution, was founded by Theresa Flores, an author, advocate, and human trafficking survivor. S.O.A.P. partners with local organizations to distribute millions of bars of soap wrapped with a red label printed with the National Human Trafficking Hotline number, 1-888-373-7888.
Trained volunteers deliver each soap bar to high-risk motels, and offer training to staff on how to spot the signs of human trafficking. Along with these bars, posters of missing children are handed out to hotel staff members, encouraging them to report any suspicious activity that could occur at their place of employment.
Theresa Flores herself is a survivor of human trafficking at the age of 15. She grew up in the suburbs of Detroit in the 1980s and her story starts when she was in high school and met a guy who she had a crush on and had offered to take her home. He ended up taking her to a motel room instead, where she was raped and prostituted to various men every day.
She recalls from experience that the only time she would ever be alone while being trafficked was in a motel bathroom. This lead to her coming up with the idea to get bars of soap into these motel bathrooms with the hotline printed on it to help these girls being trafficked.
S.O.A.P. also offers various programs at all of its chapters around the country, which include survivor retreats, counseling, and survivor support groups.