#TalkTraffic: Survivors Sharing Their Voices
Survivors of trafficking move on to reclaim their lives in so many different ways. The trafficking experience is not a core piece of their identity. Learn more about how survivors can share their voices while protecting their privacy.
What You Need To Know
For most survivors of trafficking, the trafficking experience does not define them. Remembering this helps when thinking about the most respectful ways to work with survivors who are sharing their voices.
Especially because the media and some well-intentioned policymakers are largely focused on horrific stories and salacious angles, the most important concept is Informed Consent:
- Talk to survivors about possible legal and emotional consequences for sharing their stories and make sure their stories are anonymous, if that’s what the survivor wants.
- Be straightforward about why and how you’re working with a survivor to share his or her story, and do not take the experience out of context, in the hopes of winning a particular policy or campaign.
- Remind survivors about how long stories live on the internet and how widely stories can be shared through social media and websites, since this can have legal or emotional consequences.
The best ways to work together include:
- Ask survivors what their needs are, and help to highlight their voices in the ways they want to share.
- Connect survivors to qualified and appropriate legal and social services. This helps address potential legal consequences of sharing their voice, and deals with the potential trauma of telling parts of their story.
- Encourage survivors to suggest solutions to prevent and end trafficking, and to collaborate and organize with other activists and concerned members of the community. There’s no need to re-live the details of abuse, since that information doesn’t help in preventing or ending trafficking.
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Production Credits — Producers: Juhu Thukral and Jeffrey Yamaguchi. Video Production/Filming/Editing: Jordan Timpy and Cassie Timpy of Agape Visuals (Read their write-up about working on this project). Music: Broke For Free.