Tragedy Strikes: Daughter of Human Trafficking Activist Murdered

With heavy hearts, we share tragic news from one of our own Citygate Network members. Last week, on her way home from the DC Forum, Debra Rush, co-founder and co-executive director of Breaking the Chains (Fresno, California), a leading anti-human trafficking organization in the Central Valley of California, learned that her youngest daughter had just been murdered by rival human traffickers in Los Angeles.

Debra herself, a survivor of human trafficking, birthed Breaking the Chains over a decade ago out of the Fresno Mission. Her tireless efforts and unwavering dedication to the cause have led to the rescue of numerous trafficking victims and have had a significant impact on raising awareness about the issue. She has spent the last year advocating for legislative change in California, leading to the reclassification of trafficking as a serious felony with stricter penalties for offenders.

Matt Dildine, CEO for the Fresno Mission says, “Debra is one of the most incredible women and forces for change that you will ever meet. What she has done to not only rescue so many young girls out of trafficking, but also to change people’s perspective on the issue of trafficking, has been remarkable. To think that her daughter was killed by the very people she fights against is overwhelming and heartbreaking. Knowing Debra, it will just make her fight harder.”

In the midst of her grief, Debra is navigating the channels that will successfully eradicate the video depicting her daughter's execution from the internet and social media platforms. It only serves as a graphic and harrowing reminder of her loss.

In addition, please pray for the whole Rush family. If you would like to support them in other ways, we’ve listed several suggestions below:

The 300+ organizations in Citygate Network membership seek to move people in desperate situations and destitute conditions (i.e., hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted) from human suffering to human flourishing through the process of gospel-powered life transformation. If you or someone you love is in need of Christ-centered compassion and care, please visit our member locator page today to find a mission near you.

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