Women who have survived sex trafficking often have such severe dental damage that their recovery is blockedbecause they cannot eat healthfully, smile fully, or present themselves well in job interviews. As well as being a physical and social problem, damaged teeth increase the shame, alienation, and depression that trafficking survivors often experience. While limited types of low-cost dental work are sometimes available, the major dental work these survivors usually need -- dentures, crowns, root canals, and bridgework--remains prohibitively expensive.
S.A.S.S. solicits private dentists to volunteer complete dental restorations for these women. Each dentist is asked to restore the smile, start to finish, of just one woman. In addition, S.A.S.S. pays for prescriptions, soft foods, groceries, hygiene items,laundry soap, and clothing as the survivors need during the time period of their dental restoration.
Many sex trade survivors have neither valid drivers licenses nor cars and are afraid to take public transportation. For this reason, S.A.S.S. volunteers provide door-to-door transport to and from dental appointments. We also drive survivors to pharmacies, grocery stores, and WalMart, Target, or Fred Meyer to purchase prescriptions, groceries, household items, and clothing as needed.
Our goal at S.A.S.S. is to provide wrap-around support and facilitation during the survivor's dental restoration, thus easing her way forward into recovery and reintegration into the community.