Washington Engage’s trafficking survivor initiative has been championed by Julie Watts, MSW, University of Washington, School of Social Work. Oftentimes a survivor is called upon to tell their personal story – this can be emotionally draining and stressful, particularly in environments where the trafficking experience is not fully understood.
The program works with trafficking survivors to create sustainable system change through the development of safe and open dialog practices that engage audiences and particularly the media. The workshop is about empowering survivors by providing them the technical skills and confidence to help reframe the debate on this issue.
In August 2016, Cohort 1 "graduated" from our pilot program to much fanfare, laughter and tears! It was an emotional moment for everyone who had gone through this journey of personal discovery, inner reflection and above all, intense skills building to find strength in a traumatic life experience - then channel that into a positive message of advocacy and hope.
"Survivor Voices has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my time as a survivor within my own recovery and as a Survivor Leader working within the movement. I am proud and honored to have been a part of such a revolutionary instructive and beneficial group that contributes so much to my leadership skills and personal understanding of myself as a survivor and the anti-trafficking movement as a whole. Survivor Voices was introduced to my life at a time when I was extremely isolated and emerging as a leader on the heels of some confusing and disappointing experiences receiving services in a relatively new movement. Survivor Voices was a literal lifeline for me."
Take a moment to play this brief video and learn how the Survivor Voices program has impacted the lives of some of our Cohort 1 participants:
Check out this powerful video from Survivor Voices participant Amber Walker. Developed through First Aid Arts, a Seattle-based non-profit utilizing the arts to heal survivors of abuse, trauma and disaster, Amber tells her story with clarity and confidence. Amber may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help WA Engage fund Survivor Voices and other programs by clicking here.