Trust is Everything: Working with Survivors of Human Trafficking [Guest Post]

This post was written by CCAHT volunteer Rebecca Warren.

As volunteers, we will likely never meet a client in the care of the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

We may not hear their stories.

Here’s why: the single most important aim of CCAHT’s work with human trafficking victims is building relationships. And the only solid ground for those relationships is trust.

Women, men, and children who have been trafficked have experienced being the objects of transactional relationships.

Their experience has been, and their expectation may be, that they won’t be provided basic needs, that they won’t be protected, unless they offer something of themselves as compensation.

The CCAHT works to establish relationships that are not contingent, not transactional, and that are based on trust. For the CCAHT, that means a victim’s needs (including shelter, legal assistance, medical care) are attended to – and not in exchange for her “story.” And, when a client leaves, she can call on the CCAHT should she ever need help again – she’s not obligated to prove “rehabilitation.”

What that means for us as volunteers is the protection that CCAHT offers its clients excludes us from meeting them. It means the clients are afforded the dignity and privacy of not having to share what’s happened to them. They have the opportunity to trust and to heal.

But that doesn’t mean we aren’t a crucial part of this movement. The CCAHT needs us to help show the survivors they serve that they are are not alone and that they are loved. Here are five great opportunities to get involved:

  1. The Family Table – Sign up to provide a meal for the clients living in the safe house. Learn more here: Meal Train for CCAHT Family Table
  2. Donation Drives – Work with your place of worship, club, class, or group to organize a drive. Get information about the items currently in need by emailing tara@ccaht.org.
  3. Financial Gifts – Your monetary gift allows the CCAHT to best apply resources to current needs. Give here: https://growfreetn.org/donate/.
  4. Training – Learn more about human trafficking. Book a CCAHT training session for your   class, faith group, place of work, or civic group here: https://growfreetn.org/services/ – training.