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Story Filed: Jan 31, 2020 11:13 AM IST

Sarasota, Jan 30, 2020 - Sex trafficking is a $99 billion industry and human trafficking now the 2nd largest criminal enterprise worldwide according to UNICEF. Selah Freedom, the largest anti-sex trafficking service organization in the country, and Paint Nail Bar, have formed the Employment Empowerment Program alliance to provide Selah Freedom sex trafficking survivors with safe, healthy and sustainable employment as licensed nail technicians across PAINT Nail Bar franchises nationwide. PAINT Nail Bar is leading the nail bar boom and cleaning up the nail care industry across products, environments and critically, innovative and proprietary staff development and client engagement protocols. The explosive York Times investigative reporting, The Price of Nice Nails (Sarah Maslin Nir, May 7, 2015), exposed a multitude of abuses in the nail salon industry including human trafficking.

Started at PAINT Nail Bar's flagship in Sarasota, Florida, where Selah Freedom survivors have become gainfully employed licensed nail technicians, the Employment Empowerment Program is expanding nationwide. Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good, CEO, and co-founder of Selah Freedom and the Selah Way Foundation, states, "We are so grateful for this alliance and its expansion with PAINT. Too often, the American criminal justice system treats sex trafficking victims - mostly children and young adults - as criminals. And those victims that are fortunate enough to be saved and survive end up having criminal records, which makes them virtually unemployable. PAINT Nail Bar has stepped up, providing our survivors with not only a safe place to work but a work environment where they can thrive professionally."

While Selah Freedom services include outreach, safe housing, rehabilitation, mentoring, and education, empowering employment rounds out the circle for the survivors who tend to be groomed at a very young age. Two million children are sold each year and The Department of Justice estimates the average age for a girl to be trafficked into the commercial sex industry is just 12 to 14 years old. Most don't stand a chance of leading normal lives unless they are rescued, rehabilitated, and given a chance with gainful employment. "We strive to provide a clean, healthy, safe and quality experience at PAINT Nail Bar for both our clients and our nail technicians; we are fully aware of the talents and value of our technicians. The Employment Empowerment Program alliance with Selah Freedom will allow our PAINT Nail Bars across the country - 22 nail bars and counting - to not only do good in helping the survivors but feel good by actively helping to fight sex trafficking in their local communities as sex trafficking targets children and young adults of all races, socio-economic backgrounds, and zip codes," said both Mark and Michele Schlossberg, co-founders and co-owners, PAINT Nail Bar.

What to look for in Sex Trafficking and Exploitation according to Selah Freedom:

Signs of or history of emotional, sexual, or other physical abuse, sexually transmitted diseases
Unexplainable appearance of expensive gifts, clothing, or other costly items
Presence of an older boy/girlfriend
Minor in the company of a controlling third party
Lack of knowledge about a given community or whereabouts
Bruising and injuries, signs of branding/tattoos
Lying about age, giving false ID and/or no ID
Well-rehearsed and/or inconsistent stories
If you see something, say something! Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888 or contact Selah Freedom's intake line at 1-888-8-FREE-ME.

ABOUT SELAH FREEDOM: Selah Freedom is a national organization with the mission to end sex trafficking and bring freedom to the exploited through their four strong programs: Awareness, Prevention, Outreach, and Residential. Selah Freedom actively confronts the issue of sex trafficking and is being upheld as the model for how to effectively bring solutions to survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation.

Visit; Facebook; Instagram @selahfreedom

ABOUT PAINT NAIL BAR: At PAINT, we are not a 'nail salon' although we do nails. We do not look or smell like a traditional nail salon, nor leave our clients feeling as though they've been to one. Leading the nail bar boom, we're cleaning up the industry with Healthier, Cleaner, and Safer Products and Services, and critically, with innovative and proprietary staff development and client engagement Protocols. From our unparalleled staff development and client engagement strategies to understanding the psychology of space, nails maybe our trade, but relationships and exceptional client experience are our brand and business.

Visit;Instagram @paintnailbar; Facebook PAINT Nail Bar Sarasota
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