I am a member of the National Survivor Network, the Survivor Connect Network, and other survivor groups created for and by survivors of human trafficking.
As a member of these groups; I am in touch with survivors from around the world: new survivors, empowered survivors, educated survivors, struggling survivors, and scared survivors. We unite under these umbrella organizations to offer each other support, guidance, and empathy and to work together on survivor-inspired projects.
There is a particular topic which has been surfacing lately on many of these forums and that is the lack of survivor invitations to participate in local and national conferences, symposiums, workshops, etc. Often, survivors are requested to recount the details of their testimonies, and then they are excused from further participation. This is baffling to me. If there is to be a discussion regarding the prevention of human trafficking and the protection of survivors, shouldn’t there be a survivor’s perspective present?
Please realize I recognize that many organizations involved in such events are survivor-informed; however, I still believe that empowered survivors whom are able to attend the event should be invited to participate. What better way to convey to new survivors that their futures hold promise but by providing a place and by lifting the voices of survivors who are ready to come forward?
For those who aren’t aware, Survivor Strong is a Speakers’ Bureau created by survivors, for survivors of human trafficking. If you are in need of a survivor speaker, please consult the speakers listed on the site. If you have an event coming up in which you would like to invite any local survivors to attend or participate, please post your event on the Survivor Strong Facebook page.
Survivor Strong is a public, professional, and informed organization of survivors. Because we are committed to consulting with members of many survivor organizations, we represent ourselves and those still in the shadows.
Please show your support by posting your events on our Survivor Strong Facebook page now or email me to share the event with survivors on a private forum.