Suddenly I See

I wish I could say that statement were true for me.  The problem with memory repression is that everything is foggy.  When repressing recurring trauma, it can be hard to remember the good stuff because the brain is so busy trying not to remember the bad stuff.  Of course, I remembered my father existed.  That would have been hard to reconcile.  However, I didn’t remember the abuse.  It sounds like a good thing.  Who would want to remember that?  And it’s true.  I would prefer not to remember it.
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Coming Back Home

Grad Cap

I am graduating with a Master’s Degree in Social Work in two weeks.  It is a very exciting time of transition for me as I start my internship and leave my current job of 8 years.  As I take more steps toward work in the anti-human-trafficking field, I feel like I am coming alive.  I am truly excited to start this work.
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Trafficking survivor: It’s time to help others

A great article about my new friend, Ima Matul.

The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery

Ima Matul, a survivor organizer with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)

You might not know that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. You might not even know why we need such an awareness campaign, or that, right here in America, women, children and men are trafficked every day into forced labor or the sex industry.

More than likely, though, you do know that modern slavery exists, but do not know all of what it looks like or what you can do about it. As both a survivor of human trafficking and an advocate working to free and support others, I can tell you.

Some victims are American citizens, others hold valid visas, and some are undocumented immigrants. They are educated or illiterate, young or old, native English speakers or barely fluent. They are found in factories, farms, nursing homes, on the streets, or in…

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Coming Out

I hate driving in Northern Virginia.  Although I only live 90 miles from Washington D.C., I never go there.  I don’t have the patience.  Of course, it probably doesn’t help that I was trafficked in Northern Virginia, so that certainly adds some angst.  This is why it was a bit surprising that I took a day off from work to travel to the second day of the Freedom Network Conference.  My primary reason for going was the survivor panel discussion.  I had talked to a couple of survivors that I really wanted to meet.
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Stop Victim Blaming

No Shame

It’s the new slogan of the anti-trafficking movement.  It’s powerful for those who understand it.  And for those that don’t … it’s written off along with everything else they don’t understand.  Supporters respond to those that don’t get it by saying it more and saying it louder.  But there’s a problem.  It’s not just a slogan.  For survivors of trafficking, it has to be so much more than a slogan.
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Making a Difference

Survivors

I had the privilege of meeting two amazing survivors last night at an event in Hopewell.

Tina Frundt is the founder of Courtney’s House in Washington D.C.  She is dedicated to educating the public about trafficking and providing a safe environment for trafficking survivors to heal.

Courtney’s House

Holly Smith is a talented and dedicated speaker, writer and advocate against trafficking.  She speaks at public events and training sessions to educate the public about minor sex trafficking.

Holly Austin Smith

They are both inspiring.  I look forward to working with them in the future.

Mommy, when are you going to find us a daddy?

I hear this question about once a week.  When I first heard it, I cringed.  I was not sure how to answer it.  I was afraid if I didn’t come up with the perfect response, my children would be permanently scarred.  It doesn’t bother me very much anymore.  I have several answers now.  My personal favorite:   “It takes a while to find a person special enough to be your daddy.”  Of course, that doesn’t quell the impatience.
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