24 Hour Crisis Hotline (419) 280-2451

S.T.A.R.S ( Standing Together Against Real Slavery)  is a survivor-based organization dedicated to supporting and empowering young women who have experienced or are at high risk for commercial sexual exploitation/sex trafficking. STARS, located in Toledo, Ohio, offers a unique crisis prevention/intervention program with personalized case management/mentorship and a temporary shelter for women aged 18-24. Our goal is to restore hope, cultivate purpose, and revive self-worth in today's misdirected and neglected girls. We offer a safe, nurturing environment with a holistic approach toward physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth and development. We work with and advocate on behalf of our women, girls, and their families. We help connect them with the best resources and most appropriate agencies, and we support them through any criminal cases against sex traffickers. We recognize that our girls may need specialized services to meet everyday challenges while working toward short and long-term goals. At STARS, we offer stability, hope, and healing while fostering personal growth and promoting success within those who desire to make positive changes within their lives.

Along with intervention, STARS strives for prevention and community awareness. We work with vulnerable populations of adults and youth to educate about commercial sexual exploitation/sex trafficking and to intervene against high-risk behaviors. We address and discuss a variety of societal, interpersonal, and personal risk factors like substance use, bullying, mental health, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and sexual abuse/exploitation. At STARS, we believe in survivor leadership and mentorship – victims/survivors will bond and trust with those who have experienced similar trauma. Survivor mentors help to guide and encourage others who are struggling or at high risk for failure within the system. Through street outreach and a 24-hour crisis hotline, we are here to connect with and support Toledo's most vulnerable women and girls. STARS serves the community by bolstering a social system already overwhelmed with clientele. Thank you for your support in preventing commercial sexual exploitation/sex trafficking and protecting victims/survivors. Take action now, contact us and find more ways you can help.

Elesondra deromano

Survivor-Founder-Motivational Speaker-Consultant

Elesondra Deromano







EleSondra "Ele" DeRomano is a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation/sex trafficking, a local and national consultant, a motivational speaker, an advocate against all forms of exploitation, and the Founder of Standing Together Against Real Slavery (STARS). Since 2004, Ele has worked with women and youth who are at-risk for a myriad of factors, including sexual assault/exploitation, domestic violence, street and gang violence, and substance abuse/addiction. As a self-described "ex-crack addict and ex-prostitute", Ele is uniquely capable of mentoring exploited and at-risk women and girls with her direct yet nurturing approach and personality. She offers brutal honesty but creates an atmosphere of hope for women and girls who have been abandoned by society.


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Federal authorities have been focusing heavily on teen prostitution for the past year. Pimps have become more sophisticated in their recruitment and maintenance of the children they force to prostitute, moving their victims from state to state, often forcing them to work as prostitutes outside the larger cities and in small towns where police are unfamiliar with the operations of child prostitution rings.
Pimps are on the prowl at arcades, malls, concerts, etc. Pimps move from city to city looking for children who are easy prey; alone, desperate and alienated. Thousands of children each year are victimized by this horrible con game. Toledo is the number four recruiting spot in the United States for under age exploitation due to its location through the interstates.. There are over 300,000 youths trafficked each year in the United States and more at risk. Our involvement in these cases includes filing police reports, accompanying children to court (against a pimp) if needed and even testifying ourselves. STARS will give them a survivor input and then direct them to services and the care they need to build the trust with responsible adults, to catch up on school credits, and we will work with their probation officers or social workers to accomplish this task.