Breaking Free is a Minnesota-based non-profit and social justice/social change organization founded in 1996 by Vednita Carter. Every year, Breaking Free helps an average of 400-500 women and girls escape systems of prostitution and sexual exploitation through advocacy, direct services, housing, and education. Our main offices are located in St. Paul, Minnesota, with branches in Rochester and Minneapolis. Breaking Free's doors are open to women and girls throughout Minnesota and the United States.
Meet Our Founder and Executive Director
Breaking Free founder and executive director, Vednita Carter, has dedicated her life to advocating for, rescuing, and
restoring victims of prostitution. She is an author, sought-after
speaker and trainer, and an award-winning pioneer in the
abolitionist movement. She has extensive experience in developing and planning
programs for sex trafficked women and girls, and was awarded the Norma
Hotaling Award for her life-long service to victims of sex trafficking. In 1998 Vednita was appointed to the Female Offenders
Task Force by the Commissioner of Corrections, and she received an
Outstanding Community Service award from Minnesota Women of Color for her work.
She is a consultant to the United States Department of Justice, a trainer to
the FBI, and has been invited to speak at the United Nations on the topic of
prostitution and its impact on African American women.
Recently, Vednita was elected to serve as vice president of the board for the Coalition
Against Trafficking in Women and Children (CATW). Also in 2013, she traveled to the Middle East and Asia to educate service providers and community members on Breaking Free's pioneering work. Vednita was awarded the prestigious Path Breaker Award from Shared Hope International for her tireless efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex. In 2014, Vednita attended President Obama's State of Union address as the guest of Representative Erik Paulsen.