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Advocacy for Trauma Bonds of Human Trafficking – A Daily Quality of Life Human Rights Issue

December 4, 2016

Advocacy  for Trauma Bonds of Human Trafficking  – a Daily Quality of Life Human Rights Issue

“Yesterday at the facility where I have been in clinical supervision for 8 years, I had the opportunity to describe to one Division of Youth Corrections and two Excelsior Youth Center employees the need for better treatment of our incarcerated youth who may have experienced human trafficking describing my friend Monica’s incarcerated youth experience. As my voice cracked a little, knowing at almost the same time, she was being laid to rest, I could feel her hand on my back urging me to do the best that I can working so we reduce the harms to survivors.”

“My advice? Understand the difference between Stockholm Syndrome and Trauma Bonds. Trafficked individuals can experience both but in Trauma Bonds, there is an actual relationship between the survivor and the pimp or trafficker. I worry that while we consider it the most exploitive thing the survivor could ever experience, we are not honoring this bond and allowing for survivors to have their own expression of trauma. Victimizing victims is icky. They may not identify as victims or their expression of victimization might be different than what we seen victimizing (usually the sex.)”

“I also know that survivors are the most resilient people you will ever know and that was Monica. Her will to help her fellow people, her passion to educate I never knew she was such a fearless world traveller! Her love of all of us will forever life in our hearts in the Colorado sunshine, when we see a fuzzy dog, when we remember her smile and fierce advocacy for marginalized people.”

For my fellow advocates, our bill for immunity is being drafted. I hope you support it.

From and by Billie Jo McIntire

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