Consider the Whole Person - Trafficked Persons
A trafficked person is not only a trafficked person. Being trafficked is only one aspect of who they are — they may not see themselves as trafficked.
It is important to treat a trafficked person within the continuum of their life — in other words, addressing all their concerns and acknowledging all aspects of who they are and what they have experienced. They may have health issues, may be struggling with addiction, may be concerned about friends or family members, may have a complex history of good and bad life experiences. Respect the person’s capacity to define their experience, rather than have it defined by you or anyone else.
By considering the whole person and acknowledging all aspects of their life, you can help restore their dignity.
This may mean simply listening to their story with kindness and patience, or it may mean finding special services for them, such as trauma counselling and low barrier health care. It may also mean helping them to regain a sense of connection to their family, faith, or community.
My Story: I’ve been out for four years. One of the big challenges that I still deal with is ‘what’s my story, what have I been doing for the last eight years?’ What do I tell people? How do I fill out my job resume? The social stigma of it comes everywhere with me. I walk around the city and I see customers, and I don’t know how many people I pass who have been me naked. I go once a week to a psychologist and it’s hard work, it’s a lot of work. I don’t want to be seen as a victim. I want to be seen as a victor, somebody who went through it, who survived, who can educate people about the issue.
Copyright © 2014 Province of British Columbia.