LSSWis - Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

Lutheran Social Services of
Wisconsin and Upper Michigan


Transitions Human Trafficking Program

Hope and Healing for Victims of Human Trafficking 

Girls involved in sex trafficking need intensive, specialized treatment to overcome their trauma. Our Transitions therapists understand the struggles faced by those involved in human sex trafficking and provide the support and specialized treatment needed to feel safe and empowered again. Girls, 10-17 years old, are placed in the Transitions program to learn to cope with their feelings and move from sex trafficking victim to survivor. These treatment options are especially important as the prevalence of sex trafficking continues to increase across the Midwest. 

The Transitions Program is modeled after our successful Pathway Program for girls who demonstrate sexually reactive behaviors and/or delinquency. Transitions will replace the Pathway Program when it opens in February 2017. 

Our Therapies

Transitions' therapists are dedicated to treating girls previously involved in sex trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation as well as those at high risk of becoming a sexual trafficking victim. 

Our therapeutic treatments utilize: 

  • Trauma-informed and cognitive behavioral individual and group therapy 
  • Ending the Game© and Not a #Number curriculums
  • Reflection
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Guided imagery
  • Breathing techniques
  • Art therapy
  • Qi-Gong
  • Tai Chi 

Our facility, located in rural Wisconsin, features two treatment units. The first unit, Transitions I, receives funding from the State of Wisconsin to treat trafficking victims from across the state, outside of Milwaukee County. The second unit, Transitions II, receives its funds from counties and other sources to treat trafficking victims and girls at high risk for trafficking from Wisconsin and the Midwest. 

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Client Testimonial

"For me, if I wasn't on something, I was self-harming: anything to feel numb. It's still hard not to fall back into those old ways. It's hard to change that thinking. Now I can feel myself changing. I'm learning how to be happy and sober at the same time."

- Allie, a 15-year-old victim of human trafficking

Our Treatment Approach 

Both units use a trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy philosophy, equipping the girls with the skills needed to:

  • Work through past trauma
  • Manage their emotions while working through this trauma
  • Increase the ability to function in day-to-day situations
  • Improve normal interactions
  • Cope with anxiety and depression
  • Break drug and alcohol addictions
  • Repair family relationships
  • Build self-esteem and trust
  • Prevent a return to sex trafficking

Treatment in Action 

 Hear first hand the horrific story of a 15-year-old girl who was physically and emotionally traumatized, and, with our help, is finding hope and healing.

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Meet our Staff

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647 W. Virginia Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204

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© 2016 Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan