By Holly Austin Smith — From her column Speaking Out in the Washington Times Communities
RICHMOND, VA, January 23, 2013- Meet Ateba Crocker. Ateba created an organization in 2010 called Shoe Revolt, a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit which she started in order to raise funds for programs that serve victims of sex trafficking. As a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation, Ateba said she “desired to see others free from the trappings of the sex industry.”
In an emotional interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Ateba described how she overcame early childhood sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation. Through her faith and family, Ateba found the strength to return to school, to graduate college with a Master’s Degree, and to publish her first book, Rescued: A Testimony of God’s Saving Power.
Ateba used her love for fashion to help other victims of sexual exploitation. The mission of Shoe Revolt was to donate portions of proceeds gained by selling new and gently-used shoes. As Ateba built Shoe Revolt; however, she said she quickly realized that what was missing was an education program for teens.
“I decided to change Shoe Revolt’s fundraising focus to creating and funding a teen preventive program,” Ateba stated, “[Teens must be] empower[ed] to fight against predators [who] seek to take away a human being’s right to freedom.”