Anna became a Direct Services intern back in August 2018. Read below to see what she’s learned on the road to freedom with End Slavery Tennessee these past 7 months.
When I started interning at End Slavery TN I didn’t know what to expect. I had previously done extensive volunteer work in sexual assault and domestic violence advocacy, but this was my first experience working with survivors of human trafficking. From my initial interaction with a group of survivors to my current therapeutic relationship with each individual, I am struck by this enduring truth: We are so much more than our traumas.
I think as helping professionals, even with the best intentions and best education, we still occasionally find ourselves buying into the stereotypes the world has fed us about prostitutes, sex slaves, helpless victims. If there is anything I have learned from my time at End Slavery TN, it is that the survivors I have come to know and love are far from helpless. Though the harsh realities and lingering effects of traumas run deep, each survivor’s ability to uniquely and bravely set out on her/his/their healing journey continues to amaze me no matter how many roadblocks they face and triumphs they celebrate. Whether it’s a client’s gift for processing trauma through poetry or for using improvisational acting and humor to find hope in next steps, each survivor reminds me that embracing our humanness is what bands us together and facilitates our growth.
I could not have known that I would fall in love with this work and with these resilient, creative, smart, funny, empathic, and courageous individuals. I count it a great honor to witness each survivor’s journey and play my small part as a support and fellow traveler on the road to freedom.
“We are so much more than our traumas.”