Holly Gibbs and Melissa Snow
DescriptionHolly Gibbs (43) shares how life experience led to present work within the anti-trafficking movement with friend and colleague Melissa Snow (42).
Subject Log / Time Code
- Holly Gibbs
- Melissa Snow
Recording LocationVirtual Recording
Partnership TypeFee for Service
StoryCorps uses Google Cloud Speech-to-Text and Natural Language API to provide machine-generated transcripts. Transcripts have not been checked for accuracy and may contain errors. Learn more about our FAQs through our Help Center or do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions.
00:01 Hello, my name is Melissa snow. My age is 42. I'm recording from College Park, Maryland. And today's date is June 10th, 2021. And I have the honor of speaking with Holly today and our relationship is colleagues friends, and I'm just a general cheerleader for Her Awesomeness.
00:23 Melissa, my name is Holly Austin, Gibbs. My age is 43. I'm recording today and Las Vegas, Nevada. Today's date is June 10th, 2021. I will be speaking to Melissa snow today, and our relationship is colleagues, friends and partners in crime. Hi, Holly. It is. I'm just so excited to be talking with you today. And I know we're just, we're in for just a treat with the information that, you know, you have to share your expertise in the area of of human trafficking. And so if you're okay with it, I think we'll just jump in. And that way we can, we can get to the good stuff. That's how good? That sounds great. Thank you. Great. All right. So how did you first become involved in the anti-trafficking movement?
01:24 So this is going back to around 2009. I think I was in my
01:34 Okay, so it was it was a I believe it was a Friday night.
01:40 It was had been a long work week and I was watching a documentary on TV. So it was a long work week. I didn't feel like going out my husband, Beyonce at the time, he went, he went out with his friends and I was really excited about being home alone because I was eating brownies and cementery about women and girls who were forced or tricks were born into brothels. And it was based in another country. I think India and I was fascinated by the topic and of course had a personal connection and some way to the topic of prostitution, but not very many people know that about me, so is watching and
02:38 There was one girl who was featured and her story was so similar to my own, you know, as a young person tricked into running away and then coerced into prostitution eyedia identified so much with this with this young girl. And what I remember the most about this girl is that once she had been in this situation. It was normalized to her in some way that she was resistant to assistance to someone, you know, rushing and trying to help her. She didn't think she was in a position where she needed help. And I just thought, oh my gosh, this is so represented, what happened to me at age 14, but I thought, you know, the Tropic of the documentary was sex trafficking, they were showing all these scenarios of sex trafficking and other country. And I thought,
03:38 Can't be a victim of sex trafficking because I'm a US citizen and this happens in the United States. So I didn't know what that meant human trafficking or sex trafficking in the United States and I was shocked to learn about some organizations at the time a 2009, really wasn't as, as known as it is today. So I only found a couple of organizations, but I was blown away by one that this was happening in the United States. This thing called sex trafficking that had something to do with me, that I had, I finally had a name for it, and I couldn't believe that it was still happening at. There were other people out there that this was happening. So I literally thought I was the only person that had this experience like I was the only person who entered prostitution in that way as a child.
04:38 So they did what the first organization that I found was called Children of the Night in Los Angeles. So I, I reached out to Children of the Night and they because I was located in Virginia. At the time. They provided some information about resources on the East Coast. So I think maybe I reached out to Shared Hope and then through Shared, Hope. I think I've learned about Courtney's house, which is a Survivor LED organization. The Survivor is in a front and Courtney's, house provides support and services to young, boys and girls are impacted by sex trafficking in that area. So, I reached out to Tina front and
05:23 She was hosting or not hosting but she was involved with an event in the Maryland area and partnership with shared hole where they were being raised for her organization and she invited me to come up and I just thought I have to do this. I can't believe. I'm going to meet another person that this happened to and, you know, I was painfully shy as a young person so much so that had a true fear of talking in front of people. And as in college, I actually had the opportunity to graduate with honors. All I had to do was get up in front of a group of people and present this project that I had done and I wouldn't do it. So I didn't get that opportunity. But this, you know, she invited me Tina invited me to share my story on stage and I was so compelled to do it. To raise funds for Courtney's house. That that's how I wound up stepping on a stage.
06:23 And sharing my story for the first time. And that was the very first steps into this journey into the anti-trafficking field. Wow. I mean, just thinking about just a series of events, right? That happened that night sitting on your couch, eating brownies that your fiance had happened to go out. Right? And you clicked on the TV thinking you're high going to watch some rom-com, you know, whatever. And you know, or an episode of of something that you know, you probably seen a thousand time and to stumble across a documentary that gave a name to something that you had experience and to feel connected to a survivor in that story and that documentary from a totally different country. What a I'm sure they're just was so many questions going through your mind at that moment.
07:23 And so many emotions of you, no validation, but also kind of shocked and probably things coming up that you hadn't thought about in a while. But then to take that next step to reach out and say, you know what, clearly this is happening to other people is happening here and I want to understand more, right? I want to, I want to be connected with these groups. And so amazingly that moment on the couch, right? And then watching that documentary is what led us to meet as well. So I was working at Shared Hope when I didn't I didn't even know that children of the night was the organization that it connected you two Shared Hope and I was there at the time and working in the field as an advocate and a program manager for developing trauma-informed in Survivor, informant Survivor centered, programming and policy. And, and, you know, I remember talking to you on the phone, the first time that you
08:23 Really? I do what I do and I remember, you know, just in the beginning, just you were just kind of exploring the tell me about like what do you know about this? Like what tell me about how this is happening here and tell me what you're saying and I would have never taken you to be a painfully shy person because you are absolutely adamant about wanting to know more and wanting to understand more and it was just such a night. It was such an incredible conversation about your just sharing what we knew. It should help with the time. And we were at this really interesting moment at shirt. Hope to wear a lot of our focus when I first started with them and in 2000 to 2003 was focused internationally that like much of the anti-trafficking work was, you know, in the early two, thousands. And then we started asking this question of if it's happening over there, and we're talking about it happening to people being brought into the US.
09:23 Then it must be happening here, too. And so we started your kind of a Down, a similar journey of talking with other Survivor leaders, other organizations that were calling it different things. But actually, it still it, aligned it. Meant the same thing of the experience was the same. And so we had started kind of chipping away at this idea that it didn't happen here in the US. And and we're connecting with organizations such as Courtney's house and learning from them and, and working together. So, so I love that those series of events are or what, you know, allowed us to meet there in 2009 and then you're still be working together today. So what, when you? And I even remember that night, so I have a picture for the night. I wish I could show it and we were all wearing these like red and demand shirts. And and it was at this like little church. I think, I don't know how I'm visualizing it and
10:23 And I remember when you, when you got up and you were speaking it was like time stopped in that little church. Every single person was hanging on each word that you shared and I remember you talking about how nervous you were and when you got up there, it was like, something just took over you and there was, there was just such freedom in the words that you were sharing because it was like,
10:54 Being able to break free of the things that you would not been able to talk about for so long. And everyone there knew that they were part of just a really special moment that someone that they didn't even know was trusting them with their heart, you know, and with it was something so important, the information that you were sharing and the personal experience that you were sharing was just so important that I remember, I don't think people moved while you were talking. It was just this like wanting to hang on every word and, and I think everybody there, you know, their lives changed that night because of what you shared. And there's no way after hearing something like that. You can be the same because now, you know, right? And when you know, something like that is going on and when you know, something like that is has happened in this happening to people, you have to do something about
11:54 So, you know, I just I love thinking back to that evening and that how that just became the starting point for you and this incredible career that has you not only shaped your life but impacted so many other people's lives as well, but I'm wondering how did she feel afterwards? What was that? Like for you to get up there and share that and then kind of what was that like afterwards?
12:21 It was really overwhelming. Honestly immediately afterwards. It was very overwhelming. I remember physically shaking, as if I was outside On a Winter's day in a, like, a short sleeve shirt. I was, I was shaking. I think I was overwhelmed. I think I was honestly, very feeling, very vulnerable at sharing. This experience that I felt like, I had been judged not just by others, but by myself for years and years and years. And a lot of times in the beginning, when I shared my story, I felt fear of judgement on stage and it took some time to go away, but that night was the beginning of shutting that shame and blame.
13:24 And I remember, I think everyone that was the rounds me, recognized how overwhelmed I was and how life changing this whole experience. Was that Shared Hope offered to pay for my hotel to pay for a hotel room, too.
13:46 To, you know, bring me into the circle of people survivors and Advocates alike who were coming together, the following day for a walk, right? It was a public awareness event and Anna and a walk. So I will end up staying with everyone at this hotel and joins the walk yesterday and I have photos. Night. I have a photo of me with Tina front in the end man shirt. And when I look back on that photo, I just look. So, and then, I have photos from the next day, that continue to pop up on my Facebook feed and just make me so happy. I'm just surrounded by so many people that are still in my life today. Yeah. I think that is one of the things that I treasure the most about this movement, is that the people
14:42 That I've met early on, have become friends and family. It really is. You know, there is a, a level of collaboration and trust and respect and just admiration. For the people who are in this weather year, whether you have lived experience, whether you're an advocate, whether you're a doctor with whoever is when you're, when this issue catches your heart, and it truly becomes your passion for your life's work, or your mission, or whatever it is. There is something that binds those people together and camaraderie that, I think, it's just so cool. And I just love that so many people that I've known for a 15, 10 15, 20 years, truly do feel like family to me and you included in that.
15:32 And you know, I'm thinking back to the to that first time. Is there anything you would have done differently. Do you feel like it it unfolded in the way that was necessary in that moment or would you have liked it to have happened in a different way? As you think back?
15:49 Oh, what a great question. No, I don't think I would have done anything differently. Although I will say it took me a long time to bring my husband into the conversation. I did a lot of projects and catch him out of it because I, I still, I guess I still had a fear of sharing that experience even though, you know, I had to tell him and she's coming. He's been supportive since day one. So maybe I would have, that's the one thing I would have changed. But of course, this is a journey that I had to do on my own, but I did wait probably a solid year before I invited my husband and and other families members to watch me on stage.
16:49 That makes sense. That makes complete sense. You know what it is. I think they're sharing different pieces with people who don't know you, right? That you said, you were unpacking some of that the shame, unpacking, some of the things that you had blamed yourself for that weren't weren't nowhere for you to bear in terms of that burden, but you know, slowly as you do that and you get a formation and support from people and you build, you built up that kind of network of people to stand around you and lift you out through those walks and sharing those experiences and connecting with other leaders and Advocates. I think you begin to build up different armor, right? And you say okay. I don't have to carry this any longer, right? I'm going to replace this piece of armor of a shame that was really bearing. Being a barrier between kind of connections are relationships, and I'm going to refill that with courage and bravery and so as you fill those different pieces up, it it gives you the ability to
17:49 Talk to people that are closer to you within that Circle. So I think that makes complete sense, but I have to say, though, you know what, that could have gone very differently. If I had shown up to speak for the very first time with an organization. That wasn't
18:08 Prepared for a brand new person, like myself in that moment. You know, I think it was a two-hour drive to get home and it was a night event and I was planning to drive home after that and them.
18:22 I think because of the people involved with that initial event. I was I got the support that I needed it and that might not have been the case. Otherwise, yeah, well in addition to being a credible speaker, you are also an author. And can you tell us about your book and and why you decided to write it?
18:46 Yeah, so after the first time I spoke, I I started to reach out to other organizations or maybe at you, no connections were made and I had additional opportunities to get onstage and share my story and and it was helpful for me to do that in the beginning. You know, it was helpful for me to release all of this information. All this drama and speaking about it on stage and Fielding questions from the audience, some of the questions were not, you know, the most
19:30 Trauma-informed questions, but all the questions that I received and support from others on stage. It all helps me to begin to better understand who I was when this happened to me at 8:14. And sometimes I had posters behind me of children in Chains were children, you know, with obvious signs of forced Broad and forward and to me it so I would get up and I would share my story and you know, my story is after this man convinced me to run away from home and then essentially ordered me into prostitution in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
20:26 If he took me away from my community, I didn't know where I was. I was completely overwhelmed by everything that was happening. You didn't need to use an extreme level of force fraud or coercion with me. I mean, I was immediately under his control as a young person out of my family and community and really one of the reasons I was running away is because I was fearful of going to high school. I was fearful of getting beat up by. I was I was not able to stand up for myself very well.
21:07 And so I was sort of under this man's orders under his spell and I looked like I was participating in my own victimization. So I would get up and I would share my story and I would walk off feeling like my story doesn't match all the images, many of the images that are around me representing child sex trafficking. So I started to think, maybe I'm not a victim of this type of violence and so between. So, so once I started to have these doubts, I wanted to learn more about human trafficking and I started to study the law. So the trafficking victims protection act and understanding that there is no requirement to show Force, fraud or coercion when it comes to child sex trafficking. And that's really important. Because kids are often targeted because they're easier to manipulate. They're easier to
22:07 Worst or easier to control. And I felt like that was sort of getting missed in the general awareness event. So then I had that, I felt some additional motivation to get up on stage and share my story and trying to deconstruct some of the misconceptions that are being, you know, that are in the media about this about this topic. And the more I did that, the more compelled. I felt to dispel these misconceptions and the more I learned about my personal story, the more I learn about my vulnerabilities, you know, what, put me at risk to this happening in the first place and I just was even more compelled to get on stage and and talk about these issues that, you know, aren't necessarily being talked about, like, one, key area that I focus on in. My book is the influence of
23:07 Sexual objectification of women and girls in the media and the normalization of violence against women and girls in the media, how that influenced my becoming a victim to this man and how that influences, what I did and how I responded when I was in that situation. And so, the more compelled I was to get on stage and help people understand the realities of child sex trafficking, I was getting worn out. So I would go to work. I have this full-time job where I would sit and I worked at a, at a National Environmental, microbiology lab. So I trained as a training supervisor and but spent most of my time sitting in a microscope in a quiet Laboratory.
23:58 And then I would get on stage and share the story in front of all these people, and it just felt like I was living two lives, but it was, it was draining me and I thought, oh my gosh, I mean, how can I get this story out there? I need to get, I need to teach people but but I can't do it alone. So then I started to think about writing a book, like I can reach more people if I get my story down on paper and relay. All this information that I want to share that set, you know, it's hard to connect the dots between how sexual objectification of women in the media influence to me in this experience of being a victim of sex trafficking that takes more than 10 or 20 or 30 minutes and for on a stage. So I thought I could really get my message out through the book. And also another reason I wrote my book is because a lot of times I would be interviewed by the media and no matter what I said on camera.
24:58 Twisted into the typical message that were Hearing in the media. That kids are abducted locked up in basements and insoles for sex, it in that manner. And that does the greater narrative is that traffickers are targeting people in situations of vulnerability. So all of that led to me,
25:21 Writing my book. So I it was a lot of work to partner with a literary agent and then a publisher and get it down on. Get it all down on paper, but it was very much of a learning experience for me. I learned so much not just about my own personal story, but about human trafficking in the United States different types of sex trafficking. My story is one scenario sex trafficking in the United States gain control sex trafficking. There's just so many different factors in so many different dynamics that? Wow, I learned so much incredible. And, you know, I am and you can tell it. Is it is such a academic rich.
26:18 I'm bucket. You took you wove in lived experience and experience that you have hurt. You heard from other survivors and examples and and wove it into this incredible resource about a variety of different things. And I really appreciated that you included some of the collateral components that people don't often times, think about that directly influence the environment that creates vulnerabilities and risk factors like the like the glamorizing in the sexual objectification of of individuals through different means. And I think another thing that you mentioned to really just struck me in that, you know, we've been fighting in this for twenty years in this movement of trafficking.
27:09 The constant misconceptions and the myths that just get perpetuated. And one of the biggest things as those visual images and and that they just don't convey the real often times. They don't convey the reality of trafficking and just do the fighting that happens between the folks that are saying you will. This is what, you know, gets people's attention. So that we can then tell them about the issue of traffic and it's like, it's it's horrific enough already. We don't need to take these images and then talk about deconstructing them. But the fact that the images that were not reflective of your experience cause you to actually then doubt your own victimization. Just that in and of itself should be enough for everybody to stop using the incorrect images because if the entire focus is around raising awareness and yet you're causing somebody who
28:07 Is already out there and sharing their story and being an advocate to doubt their experience. That how could that possibly be helpful in a awareness-raising campaign where somebody who maybe has not gotten that far? And being able to realize what has happened to them. They're never going to see themselves in that image. And so, the ability for them to say, why you do that, could have possibly been me and I need some assistance ride like to connect with. Somebody is missing the mark and so he'll getting it. Right is so important. And that's why you having people like you that are willing to try to get out there and be a strong Advocate and end set, the story straight and also and I think that's something I've also. So appreciated about you over the years is that you've always been inclusive of making sure that you're single narrative isn't seen as the only narrative. And that there are like you mentioned other types of trafficking and forms of trafficking. And there are also other experiences of survivors that have
29:07 In similar situations and making sure that we don't continue to just focus on one type of narrative and one type of trafficking. So, one of the TCU you got out there, you were doing advocacy and sharing and then pivoted into writing this incredible book. What happens next for you?
29:29 See, I published my book in 2013 and was again, you know, still working at my microbiology, lab job and
29:45 Traveling around the country speaking for different organizations that different events. And I met so many incredible people and learned about so many incredible organizations, like the national Center for missing and exploited children and Amber Alert. The Amber Alert program. I, I spoke at many Amber Alert.
30:10 You know, again, I was I was feeling like I was living a double life like I would go to my microbiology, lab, very quietly and look at mold spores in my microscope and then I would get in front of a large audience of law enforcement officers and social service providers and legislators.
30:34 And I just felt like I was tired. I was feeling tired and I felt like I couldn't keep going like this because I was just working all the time. So I decided, you know, I I need, I need if I'm going to continue to work in the anti-trafficking space. I need to do it full time. And so I was very thoughtful about that and thought about my personal experiences and my professional experiences have a degree in biology. I have experience of training, others, and and sharing my story to educate others. So, I really was very thoughtful and how can I what can I bring to the anti-trafficking field?
31:24 And what I thought about is in my experience, I was recovered by law enforcement in Atlantic City. And then I was taken to an emergency department was taken to the hospital in Atlantic City and
31:41 From there. I had to be assessed by an emergency psychiatrist. I had had to be assessed by an OBGYN and then I was ultimately placed in a mental health facility. And so Healthcare played as big of a role in my time. Being recovered from from this experience as law enforcement, as I was interacting with law enforcement in providing information. I was interacting with Healthcare and none of those experiences were very good for me, you know, that the interactions with law enforcement were were traumatizing they from from being arrested as a as a
32:30 Being involved in prostitution.
32:37 From being arrested to the arresting officer, you know, obviously was
32:46 Probably not educated on trauma or secondary trauma and the importance of self-care and Trauma responses from potential victims. So that initial encounter was real name from, you know, it in the police car from the drive on Pacific Avenue to the police station called me all these terrible name and then he determines that I was a victim at the police station here and my name. I came up as a missing person.
33:17 And that initial encounter with the arresting officer shaped the way I responded to everyone in my case, including the detectives who got involved. In my case, health care workers, child-welfare workers at my own family members and friends. I believe everybody was judging me, and I was a defensive from the get-go and hostile, and that's what Healthcare saw. That's what the doctor saw that nurses. They saw an angry child and in my medical paperwork that I collected were my books. I could see. And their notes that what they were thinking was that this person chose to run away and become a prostitute. That's literally what a psychiatrist wrote in his notes. So I thought, you know, and all of the conference's that I'm speaking at. I am not seeing Healthcare in the audience and in that experience with Healthcare, you know, why do laundry.
34:17 Mike was interviewing me trying to get all the information they could out of me to go. Find the person who put me in that situation Health Care could have been in a situation of educating. Me and my family about what resources were available to me. I understand that law enforcement had a role to find the Predator but in in the hospital setting in the police station, I just felt like they weren't concerned about me. Why was I in the situation to begin with? Why did I run away? What's going to happen to me? Now? What do I need? What do I want? They were only interested in getting something from me and in the healthcare setting. I don't remember very many interactions at all except feeling like an alien like feeling like everybody was looking at me. Like I was this very strange person and the strange situation. So I decided I'm going to join the anti traffic and I want to have a press.
35:17 In health care because Healthcare is in a position to identify potential victims, and to assist people who are impacted by human trafficking and other types of violence and, you know, all the Survivor. I continued to engage with health care, right before or all kinds of health and well-being needs. And many of those knees were continue to be impacted by that experience in childhood because I wasn't getting because I didn't get the support and services that I needed. That continue to impact. I helped him out either so much potential in the house to not only identify victims, but to support people who are impacted by violence. So that's when I just started, Googling Healthcare and human trafficking, and I found this organization called Dignity Health on the west coast. They were just starting a human trafficking.
36:17 Launch program. I just took a chance and sent them my resume and they hired me. And then went within weeks my husband and I were driving across the country from Virginia to California to to join Dignity Health. And today Dignity Health has now merged with another Healthcare System called c h. I to create this National health-care system with a presence in over 20 States called commonspirit Health. Our human trafficking response program is is Nationwide and all of these facilities were doing exactly what I always hope that we could do. And that's educate, Physicians, and staff about human trafficking and trauma-informed. Approaches to Patient Care and services. Both, you don't preventive education intervention, assistance, and long-term, health, and well-being. That's an incredible journey. And I love that you did such a reflective like,
37:17 Look at where did, where can I take my skills? My lived experience and you know, my professional experience and shift that into a career that is is meeting a gap in the current anti-trafficking field and and Healthcare. Absolutely, you know, it is because of your work on it because of Dignity Health, being willing to take this on and grow that Billy meeting a huge knee, that is often overlooked. And I, you may have the statistic off the top of your head. I don't have it on the tip of my tongue, but I know there is has been several several studies that have shown that. I mean, it's like over 80% of survivors of trafficking when they look back at moments of potential intervention, that the healthcare field is the top of the list, every single time because quite often because of the violence, because of the exploitation, because of all the things that are connected to the abuse, the likelihood that they are going to enter.
38:17 Night with the healthcare field is incredibly high. So I love that the the work that's happening right now is around, you know, providing Education and Training and equipping. Those individuals to not just know how to do identify. But also to know how to respond which is the most important Next Step. Can you tell us a little bit more about some of the stuff that you're working on?
38:44 I think that when one area that we want to move into is something already talked about, which is in healthcare. We can not just identify people who are actively being trafficked. But we can provide support and services to people who have been impacted by human trafficking or other types of violence in the past. So as we know, trauma can impact a person's health and well-being long-term. And so we we have so much potential to help people not just survive violence but to thrive and so it through our Partnerships with organizations across the country. We hoped to connect more and more survivors with
39:44 And well-being services. And yeah, I I think that next steps are our to really see, how can we, how can we not just reach victims but reach survivors and help survivors reached out to it. Just you know, it's it connects back to the aces study, write the adverse childhood experiences that are Kaiser Permanente in and CDC. Did I mean went 20 years ago? I mean this groundbreaking research, 20 years ago, that connected adverse childhood experiences such as violence and and divorce and incarcerated parents. Her parents with mental health issues with long-term Health impacts, and they were actually able to quantify statistically that based on the number of adverse childhood experiences that you had, you know, based on a number of one, to whatever that with each additional Ace score your percentage or likelihood for these.
40:44 Long-term Health impacts increased and are to be able to connect to such a concrete way these adverse experiences with your the long-term health impact and showing that like, you said it it's not just showing up in the emergency room, but it's when a patient is sitting with a doctor saying, I have these all of these issues not just looking at it from a perspective of I need to treat the symptoms, right? But how do I look at this whole person and all the things that are going on in their lives to address what has happened historically or what's currently going on? And it's also one of the things to that, I know, over the years working with, you know, hundreds and hundreds of of survivors. You're the healthcare field. Has been the one that I think has been most perplexed often with some of the reoccurring symptoms, or the somatic experiences that survivors, talk about because of the way trauma stored in the body and they're not being a connection between, you know, that constant state of
41:44 Fear and threat or the constant, you know, heightened, you're overwhelmed your stress response in your system that that's going to cause long-term impact and that there's not a specific like you're, you're okay your stomach hurts. Well, I done x-rays. I've done all the things and I can't find a specific reason why we need to look more broadly into kind of the trauma and the circumstances that are going on in their lives and provide that holistic care. Well, I'm so excited to hear about all the things that are going on and on and I know that you've just you've already had such an incredible career and you know, and there is there so much more ahead that I know that you're going to do that continues to influence and impact and and just shape the way this this field is going. So I'll close it out with just one final question, you know, you've been working in the anti-trafficking field for so long. What do you think is one of the greatest successes that the field has had as we think back?
42:44 Over the last 20 years and where we're coming from and kind of where we need to go. What do you think is one big success that we should be celebrating?
42:57 Well, we're celebrating.
43:01 The trafficking victims protection act, right? Being having been been implemented it for 20 years and I honestly would like to say that I love the idea of celebrating the TV PA when I first learned about human trafficking, and the reality that it was happening here. I was blown away by the idea of our by learning that, there were so many Advocates across the country. Already working to protect people who are impacted by human trafficking. Already working to prevent it from happening in the first place that there was already a federal law in place. And I just thought, wow, all those people came together and fought have this law implemented.
43:56 The fight for someone like me, you know, that person that I was when I was 14 years old. I felt so or steak. And I felt so abandoned. So stigmatized, so forgotten and left behind by society. Yet. Everyone came together on my behalf and others to have a law in place to protect them, and we continue to improve or, you know, we attempt to do. So, you're by here. So, an Administration by Administration. So today, I went to wrap up that we've I think it's amazing that allow this written twenty years ago, just with the limited information. We knew then and they they really did get it right right there. So many pieces of that law, there still relevant today and like you said, there's been tweaks and adjustments an improvement over the years as we've learned more, but that's how it should be. Right? As we as we learn more, we we do better and we make improvements and we look back and say
44:56 We should have done that that way, but we're going to do it better this time around. So I love that we're celebrating the law and that it it gave an opportunity to create a word so that you sitting on that couch eating a brownie and watching the documentary could say I finally have a name for what happened to me and then that launched you into this incredible journey. So thank you for sharing that with us today, and I can't wait to see all that you do next.
45:30 Thanks, Melissa.