Thomas Wilson is the founder, president, and visionary that created Salva Rescue Projects. This is his story.
A few years before SRP was created, Tom survived an abusive relationship and kidnapping from a past partner and her father. He endured years of mistreatment from this partner, who did unspeakable things to him. Physically, he was beaten, cut with knives, and sexually abused. Mentally he experienced horrors that would haunt his nightmares for years going forward. Through manipulative tactics, Tom’s partner encouraged him to self harm, to try to kill himself, and to lie to his own family in order to protect his abuser. The partner had taken explicit pictures of Tom and threatened to blackmail him if he ever tried to escape or tell anyone of the abuse he was suffering. To take the blackmail one step further, his partner would self harm in ways to cause bruises to their face and arms, take pictures of those bruises, and send them to Tom and tell him that if he did not stay with her, she would go to local law enforcement and accuse him of physical abuse. After self harming with a knife across her forearm, the abuser had Tom take them to the emergency room, where the partner forced Tom to watch as the doctor stitched up the wound. The abuser told Tom that he was to blame for the damage she had done to herself.
At the end of the relationship, the former partner and their father told Tom they were driving him to his vehicle so he could go to his place of work. As soon as he was in the car the partner got into the backseat with him and began to beat him frantically, while the father drove at high speeds, always too fast for Tom to jump out of the car. The abuser and her father brought Tom to their home, took him inside, and proceeded to physically, verbally, and sexually abuse him while the father watched.
Tom eventually convinced them to let him go to his place of work, where he built up the courage to tell his coworkers that he needed protection, and they guarded him while his abusers waited outside of his vehicle. His coworker helped him secretly leave the building through the back door and gave him a ride to wait out his abusers. He had finally escaped their grasp, but it didn’t end there. For weeks Tom would receive harassing phone calls from different payphones and cell phones that his abusers were using to try to convince him to come back.
With the threat of blackmail, and out of fear for his family’s physical safety, Tom never went to the authorities.
Tom is now the President of SRP and a lieutenant firefighter. He spent five months in Papua New Guinea bringing healthcare workers to remote villages. He often spends time with the homeless of his city to better understand the plight of poverty that sickens society. When conversing with some who were prostitutes, and after much research on the subject matter, he realized that human traffickers and domestic abusers use the same mental tactics to manipulate their victims. With this newfound knowledge, his specialized skill-sets, and his first hand experience with abuse, he decided to form Salva Rescue Projects.
SRP’s goal is to END sex trafficking and domestic violence, and it is Tom’s life’s mission to see that through.