Who We Are
Unfortunately, support for WHISPER waned. But Breaking Free’s founder and executive
director, Vednita Carter (then WHISPER’s director of women’s services) saw a
need. A survivor herself, she refused to
abandon her mission to help women and girls whose lives had been devastated by
prostitution and sex trafficking.
Breaking Free is committed to diversity and to the empowerment of women. Our staff come from a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise, and many are themselves survivors.
It started with WHISPER
(Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaged in Revolt), a pioneering program
of its time working with women in
prostitution before Minnesota communities recognized, let alone acknowledged,
that sex trafficking was keeping our own women and girls enslaved in systems of
abuse and sexual exploitation.
In 1996, Ms. Carter founded Breaking Free, Inc. as an Afro-Centric non-profit agency helping women
and girls escape systems of prostitution and sexual exploitation through
advocacy, direct services, housing, and education.
Through Ms. Carter’s vision and tireless dedication, Breaking Free has become one of the nation’s leading organizations for working with victims and survivors of sex trafficking and prostitution. Over the last 18 years, Breaking Free has served more than 6,000 clients and reached over 22,000 individuals via street outreach while systematically growing its programming to embrace a full continuum of care.