by Dennis Dalman
Cynthia “CeCe” Terlouw, an expert on the crime of sex-trafficking, will speak about that subject at a public meeting at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 14 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Sartell.
Terlouw is executive director of Terebinth Refuge, a safe house. The focus of her talk will be that safe house, which will open soon in the St. Cloud area. She will also discuss the local efforts to combat sex-trafficking in Central Minnesota and elsewhere.
Her presentation is sponsored by the Christian Women group and will take place in The Gathering Place, a meeting hall of St. Francis Xavier Church.
The Sartell-St. Stephen Newsleader featured a Jan. 6 front-page story about Terebinth Refuge, written by freelance reporter Mollie Rushmeyer. That story can be found on the Newsleaders’ archives at www.thenewsleaders.com.
The non-profit, Christ-centered safe house is expected to open this spring with short-term shelter beds for sexually exploited women 18 or over. It will provide long-term transitional housing, physical and emotional healing, education, life skills and job-seeking skills.
The sex-trafficking of girls and women has become a widespread crime in Central Minnesota even though many think of it as a “big-city problem.” That is why Terlouw gives so many presentations – to inform people that sex-trafficking, also known as forced-prostitution, is happening “right here,” including in the smallest towns and remote rural areas of Central Minnesota.
Terlouw has been executive director of Terebinth Refuge for about one year.
Originally from Benson, Terlouw was employed by the Heartland Girls’ Ranch near Benson for more than 20 years. The ranch serves an average of from 60 to 70 girls by providing housing, schooling, supportive services, mental-health care and a therapeutic horse-riding program.
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.