Rachel Niemiec and Elizabeth Hopper

Recorded May 13, 2021 Archived May 12, 2021 49:51 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ddv000755


Colleagues Elizabeth "Elise" Hopper (48) and Rachel Niemiec (37) discuss their work in the anti-trafficking field. Elise talks about entering the field as psychologist and how she manages secondary trauma. Rachel shares about her work as a sexual assault nurse examiner, how she manages compassion fatigue, her role as a survivor.

Subject Log / Time Code

Rachel (R) and Elise (E) describe about how they first met.
R talks about how she entered the anti-trafficking field. She says she received a B.A. in criminal justice and also had her first kid, so she was a single mother while studying. R says she worked as a domestic violence and sexual assault counselor and saw how the medical treatment hurt survivors of assault so she went back to school and became an adult and pediatric SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner).
E talks about how she entered the anti-trafficking field. She explains she came from being a psychologist and dealing with trauma. She was doing a post-doc as The Trauma Center and an opportunity came up to working in the anti-trafficking field. E entered the field in 2003 and has been able to see the field grow and change.
R says the work done on educating people on interpersonal violence and gender-based violence gives her hope about the work to be done on educating people about human trafficking. R says although she is a survivor of human trafficking she didn’t have the language for what she was experiencing until later on. E talks about how human trafficking can look different for any one person. R says that when she speaks as a survivor she always tries to highlight that her story is just one story and tries to frame the conversation as what would be helpful for someone else.
R says that even as a SANE the medical care she provides is sometimes the least important part of her work. R says her most important role when treating a patient is to sit with a kid and just to be with them. R says she sees her role as being one of the first people to validate her patients' neurobiological responses to trauma.
R talks about battling with burnout and compassion fatigue early on in her career. R says she knew she needed to learn skills quickly because she was not showing up as her best authentic self for her patients, clients, children, etc. R says she practicing mindfulness has helped her. R says she works on an interdisciplinary team with law enforcement workers, social workers, and others and she has seen how different fields talk about how the work affects them.
E shares a time when she really noticed secondary trauma present in herself. She says at the end of a day spent performing evaluations, she started crying while waiting for the train. E talks about keeping one’s inspiration and empathy at the levels they need to be.
R talks about how she would like to influence the anti-trafficking field. She feels like many people in the field are conditioned to not celebrate their wins. R says when she reflects on her own story she notices a pattern of searching for connection and so in her work, she tries to present people an opportunity and permission to connect and be their authentic selves.
R and E reflect on the idea of resilience. R says she started to publicly identify as a survivor because she feels it is important that others understand that people’s traumatic experiences are not their whole stories. R and E talk about tapping into their inner power.
R talks about shifting her perspective from the belief that she has trouble trusting people to the belief that she is really good at reading people.
R explains that for many people, trafficking is just one part of the story. R emphasizes that prevention is critical. E talks about the importance of remembering that everyone who experiences trafficking is a person and getting to know someone who experienced trafficking as a full person.
R highlights that the majority of people who experience trafficking are Black and Brown girls, communities that are not poured into.


  • Rachel Niemiec
  • Elizabeth Hopper


Partnership Type

Fee for Service


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00:02 Hi, my name is Rachel Niemiec. I am 37 years old and I think about that. Today's date is Thursday, May 13th, 2021 and I am recording from Ashland, Massachusetts with my fabulous colleague, Elise.

00:20 Thanks Rachel. And this is Elyse Harper and I am 48 years old. And today's date is Thursday, May 13th, 2021. And I'm recording from Boston, Massachusetts with Rachel and I'm so glad that you agreed to come and be my partner today to talk a little bit about the work that we do and kind of all the things that we have in common. I'm so I know we've known each other for a couple years now. Do you remember the first time that we met? I do. So, I remember that our mutual colleague Oscar says, to me, I need you to come and meet my colleague. Elise. I think, you know, your work is so similar. Your Viewpoint is so similar. And

01:20 We need to, we need to sit down. You know, it's all this, like we need to it just needs to happen and you know, ain't no Oscar like anyone. I feel like anyone he says you should, you should meet this person. You need to meet this person, you know.

01:38 Is someone that I probably shouldn't hate. So so I remember you. No going to the the center and sitting in that conference room space, and just started talking about the work that I do and hearing about the work, that, that you all do at the trauma center and a little bit about sort of the, the format for the New England, Coalition against trafficking, and your hopes and desires. And we talked a little bit about like the gaps in, in in care for individuals who had experienced trafficking. And I just, I just remember, leaving that encounter feeling really rejuvenated like

02:26 You know, I met someone that was doing the same kind of work in a different capacity and just feeling really excited.

02:35 Yeah, I had that same feeling about it and I'm not skirted. The same thing with me. If you know, raving about you before we met. So, I had my expectations already high, but I remember when we sat down just feeling very inspired, I think by you and just, you know, all the words out of your mouth, just sort of being like that. Yes, there is so kind of in line with how I think about things and the things that I think are important and into trafficking work and just personally and I know we come from you no kind of different backgrounds and we have different roles in the work, but you know, there was so much in common that when this opportunity came up to to have a conversation. I really wanted to to take the opportunity to talk to you a little bit more about that.

03:35 If you want to talk a little bit about just kind of how you got into this work in the first place. Sure. I always feel like my trajectory was is a little bit abnormal, but I suppose I suppose it's probably not.

03:57 You know, I have, I feel like I've been doing this work my entire life and on some level. I have very much been doing this work personally, my entire life, but professionally, you know, I I, I

04:16 Struggled with a lot of trauma in my early years and in my teen years and ended up completely checking out of like the whole college application experience. I ended up going to Boston University for about a year-and-a-half where, you know, my trauma became compound. I was experiencing trafficking in school that had you not been sort of going on for a couple of years. And so, you know, as you can imagine, it's really difficult to stay focused on a rigorous course schedule at a school like Boston University while you're experiencing complex trauma, and so I left I withdrew

05:08 And I was studying psychology at the time and I decided, you know, I would like to steer more towards like criminal justice. So I have my bachelor's degree in criminal justice. I finish studying that while I had my first child. And so, you know, I became a single mom and finishing school and still sort of grappling with my vulnerabilities. And I, I I started working for a non-profit as a as a domestic violence and sexual assault counselor.

05:48 And I, I remember going with my, my clients to the hospital for their medical evidence collection, and I remember seeing,

05:59 All the ways in which our medical system harmed survivors of interpersonal violence.

06:07 And I had the, the unique opportunity of serving clients in Massachusetts Department of Public Health, designated sexual assault, nurse examiner, or seen site. And also a site that was not the same site. And so I got to see the difference in in care. And while they were phenomenal, medical providers. There was something missing about the way that they provided care to to these clients who had experienced an acute assault.

06:39 And so, I decided to go back to school to become a nurse, and my goal was to become a sexual assault nurse Examiner.

06:49 And boy did that, you know, still still a single mom working full time and going to school and

07:01 Training for keep it all together while also doing my own healing. And yeah, so, I was able to finish my graduate school to become a nurse practitioner.

07:16 And give us an asylum certified by the Department of Public Health as an adult adolescent, same. And then I became a pediatric saying, which is a role for a, an advanced practice nurse practitioner. And that's what I've been doing for about almost seven years now.

07:35 An insect. It's a great story of just like continuing to sort of push and use your experiences to move yourself forward, but then I'll have it come back and help other people and be making a difference. It's so important. I think and it when I think about how I got in this is different in some ways in that in our came, at it from from being a psychologist and and specializing in trauma and service, doing, work.

08:16 But the place that that came from was really personal as well in that, you know, I had a good number of friends, who'd gone through a really tough experiences. And for some reason, a lot of people would come to me over the years. Different people talking about, you know, the experience is that they had. And I remember very young, you know, bringing people to the counselor's office and trying to intervene and trying to get to help. And and just seeing a lot around violence against women and impact of trauma. Just in the world in college. I was also a victim advocate for sexual assaults and worked from from pretty early on in that in that way. And then

09:08 You know, when I when I was, I was doing a postdoc at the trauma center and I just finished it. And there was an opportunity that came up around trafficking. And I think the thing that really got me about that was the vulnerabilities and the lack of resources. So obviously there's you know, people who have been impacted by pretty significant trauma.

09:43 And I felt like that was there a lot of groups in there that we're really marginalized and just not either, not able to get services are not having services available, just like lots of barriers, to getting help and support. And so that's kind of how how I got into it back in 2003 and I've just kind of seen the field sword grow from there. So it's been really, you know, amazing just watching it kind of grow. Yeah. I'm interested. Actually, you know, when you share that that you also began as an advocate, something that I reflect on a lot, is that change, right? So I became an advocate of just about around that time 2004 and

10:31 I remember having some of the same conversations we have today about human trafficking as it related to domestic violence and to sort of watching the field of domestic violence response and care of that evolves over time. And now I feel like we're repeating history with the work that we're doing in that into trafficking field.

10:54 I see a lot of similarities and I think it's one of the reasons why I have a lot of Hope cuz it took a lot of work. It took a lot of work. I feel like to educate people on the complexities of interpersonal violence.

11:11 You know, gender-based violence and

11:15 Well, sometimes, it feels frustrating that like, we're having the same conversation that we were having, you know, almost 20 years ago.

11:24 I know that I've seen it get somewhere, you know, so yeah, I like like, you know, it's interesting to hear like that. You have the same kind of background cuz I think it gives us a different perspective than people who might have jumped right into sort of the anti-trafficking field, right? And

11:43 You know, may not a concealed frustrating, like we're so having the same conversation. We're having, you know, it's not going anywhere, but it is what it is. We didn't recognize it for what it was right? I mean I went I'm a Survivor human trafficking and I didn't even have the words for my experience as an advocate because I was like, well, I'd experienced Dating Violence as a teen and then in my adulthood I've experienced sexual violence.

12:14 But I didn't really have words for what. But what is this? What is, what is it this experience? I'm having. So again, I didn't feel like I fit anywhere which is like the Crux of all my vulnerabilities. Anyways, if you don't know, even what it is or you go to somebody for help and they don't know what it is and they can't Overlook it in some way. So I think they're important and I seen that two of of the change that happened in the best of violence field from that question of, why does she stay? There was so common and like seeing that change over time. And I think we've seen a lot of the similar kinds of changes happening overtime in trafficking of a kind of

13:08 Getting to understand more that there is not just one picture of somebody who's traffic 10. You can't just look at it and say, oh, check this is what's going on. It's very, very complicated. Yeah, and I think similarly, I always try to reflect on that when I'm talking like from my from the space of being a Survivor. Like, I always try to remind people that I'm just one. I'm just one of hundreds of thousands of survivors. And so, you know, I don't think it's my story that is necessarily important as much as

13:49 You know, what are the collective vulnerabilities? What are the collective experiences of trauma and the collective need for resources and resilience. And all of those things that I would like the conversation to be more focused on cuz otherwise, it just starts to feel like

14:11 It starts to feel very tokenizing a but it it it's it feels less helpful to me, you know, and it feels I don't ever, I don't, I don't know. I work really hard not to be stuck in my experiences in my trauma. And so I try to, I try to frame it around. What would be helpful for someone else. It's probably not hearing my story like the Gory details of my story. Probably more about like, how did I persevere? You know what I need? And I didn't have you. No absolutely not. That seems like a really important message around about when one of things that I think it's great about the trafficking field right now is it's understanding that people who have experienced personally will have something to bring to bear to intervening and making change at whatever level.

15:08 But understanding what that change is and what the contribution is. I think that's the place where it maybe could use some tweaking. So when you think about like, what you do, that's important, how how you bring yourself into this work? What do you think is the important piece or pieces? Yeah, so

15:31 I think as a medical provider as my primary role.

15:37 Actually, probably the least. Important thing I do is provide medical care, truthfully. Do you know, the kids? I, I see mostly bad, pediatric patients and the kids that I see have all experienced some type of trauma. Some of them multiple traumas. And so my role in those moments are to provide forensic, medical care for them, whether that's examination in or, you know, photographing injuries or whatever, but my most important role in those moments is always in my opinion, like, just to sit with a child and see them and listen to them. And

16:24 You know, when I can be a provider who can reassure them that their bodies are safe and whole and healthy that I do that. But more often than not, you know, they just want to know that people believe them and they see them and that they're not broken, right? Beyond repair. A lot of the kids that I see or who are experiencing all the things we know happened inside the brain. When people experience trauma, and most of them are too ashamed or embarrassed to talk about that impact, but but I can't, I don't think I've ever met a child or an adult Survivor who who is not grappling with that sort of neurobiological response that we know to be true about drama. And and so part of my role I see is in some cases being

17:24 The very first people to sort of interact with a child and say, you know, you know, all those things going on up here in your brain. All of those are normal, right? And you know what, I all sort of talk about some of the experiences of my patients who've experienced harm to their bodies, you know, some of them have difficulty sleeping and some of them are eating patterns change. And sometimes, you know, they go from 0 to 60 and they just lashed out and they don't understand why they're doing that.

17:57 You notice any of that field true for you. I've never had a kid say, no. They're always like, yeah, that's what I'm doing. Or yes. They do. I do when I can't sleep at night. It's only talked about like the brain, write your beer. Bring it up is miraculous thing. That's really his hardest to keep you safe. And keep you alive as a wonderful things. And now it, you know, you're going to have to adjust sort of learned skills. That is not doing that all the time. And so, just like being someone to remind them like you are human, you're having a human experience, and you are not crazy. And I see you

18:38 I think about just being a when I see people, it tends to be later in the process. You know, if somebody has gotten out of the situation, maybe sometimes it's it's in the immediate aftermath of a lot of times. I'll see, you know, years afterwards. There's there's impact and I think about, you know, I'm giving those same kinds of messages about Dino trying to understand why you're reacting the way that you are and being aware of like the emotions that are coming up and not letting it come out sideways if they hating us through some Behavior, but actually like acknowledging the emotion, that's there at having a place to help hold that in and just reflect that back and sit with somebody in that. But I think about you as a first responder.

19:32 And getting that message so early, like, in in this situation that can be triggering for people. And, and frankly, sometimes I think we traumatizing, you know, very physically, invasive examination. And so somebody's had lots of boundary violations. Going through that situation with a provider who's checked out, you know, just treating them like the next patient who's coming through the door if that's not going to be helpful and it might be harmful.

20:09 But being able to flip that and have it, be an experience with somebody who's actually seeing them and recognizing that and then actually helping them emotionally in that moment. Seems so so important. Yeah, and I know like, for me, you know, I don't ever share that I'm a Survivor with my patients. I think, most times I don't do, you know, there's just sort of this misunderstanding energetically have people in people, understand you, right? It doesn't necessarily mean they're Survivor that they get it. And so,

20:47 I have seen the power of just helping people check in and Anne and understand that Mind Body Connection. So, like when I see my patients responding physiologically to like what we're talkin about, or what I'm doing and eye exam and helping them make the connection.

21:10 You know, I see that it's really valuable to remind people like that, that they are really powerful beings and trauma, but it's really powerful. I write an end. We all deserve to be able to reconcile things that have happened to us.

21:32 And understand that we are in a while. That is a piece of our story is not a whole story. It doesn't have to be. Yeah.

21:45 One of the things that I'm really interested in to kind of like in parallel with the impact on the the folks that were working with. It's just the impact on us as providers who are exposed to trauma and everybody has their own history of many. Many people in this field have experienced trauma of one kind or another and then being exposed in a continual spaces to people's difficult life experiences, and I just wonder what that's like for you. Have you how have you seen that show up for you?

22:25 Yeah, I remember really early on in my career battling with some burnouts and signs of that sort of compassion, fatigue, and all of the things they warned us about. And I remember I mean, that was I was like 21 years old. I think when I started in. So, you know, young probably fewer skills, and I probably should have had going into this work.

22:51 Enter do in terms of like my own.

22:55 Capacity to handle the level of trauma. So, I had to learn really quick. I knew that that's not how I wanted to feel, and I knew that it wasn't showing up in my most authentic way. I'm not was not something that was okay for me. And so,

23:12 While I had rolled my eyes at the concept of self care for very many, many years. I finally understood like okay, you know, maybe I'm not going to call it self care cuz for whatever reason that makes me roll my eyes, but I need to do something to make sure that I'm okay. Cuz I've got people. I got to show up for right. I've got a child now. I have more children. I have no partner and I got people that, that that need parts of me. And I, and I need, I need all of me. So, and my patience of my clients. Whoever it is, I'm interacting with deserve someone who's going to show up and then see them in and be with them. And so I have had to learn and I I it is very much a practice. It is these things that I do to keep myself grounded and present are things that I do multiple times throughout my day.

24:10 I practice mindfulness regularly multiple times throughout the day whenever I can, whenever I feel like I need to

24:19 I'm grateful that I have colleagues that are that that recognize the importance of

24:27 A paying attention to how this work. Impacts us. Similarly. I find it interesting that I work on a multidisciplinary team. So I work primarily not with medical providers. Primarily. I work with law enforcement, social workers. And I see the difference in how some of our fields are not. So open to talking about how this work impacts us. There still a lot of you know, just sort of you should just plug through it and and do your thing and then go to work and show up and don't reflect on how this impacts us, but it impacts us.

25:09 So, sometimes I find myself showing up in spaces with my colleagues to who maybe haven't had the luxury of,

25:18 I've been awarded so many tools to work through the difficulty of our work and just sort of sitting with them and and saying things like this was a really tough case.

25:29 You know, I want to go for a walk.

25:31 You know, or just sort of like trying to model what it is till I kick knowledge that this work does. Stick people tell you, not to take this work home with you, but you do you do because you're human and like there has to be some space where that's okay, and then some conversation about what do we do about that? So we can keep showing up. I remember what we were talking about this recently and I was in a sharing, but one of the one of the times that I really noticed secondary, kind of reaction in myself, was when I had gone traveling and was doing evaluations with people who've experienced trafficking. And I had done because I was traveling, I had done multiple different ones in a day. So I think I had probably met with maybe about 5 or 6 people and because they were evaluation

26:31 Kind of going right to the heart of all of the difficult things that happened to all of these people and the emotional impact of it. And some of these stories are relatively new in the job. Probably a couple years in

26:49 And the stories that you know, something about some of the stories got to me in terms of just the people's full Mobility, the intensity of the drama and I was spying for the whole day of doing the interviews. And then left, this was in New York, went down to the subway station. And I was standing with all these people kind of Milling around me and wasn't even particularly feeling anything. And all the sudden. I'm just noticed. I've got tears just streaming down my face and start looking around sort of embarrassed wondering, who's, you know, what's going on with this lady that she's just so, you know, standing in the middle of the subway crying. And that to me, has kind of been a

27:37 A signal of, you know, what happens when you have overload on, on the terrible things that happen, but then talking to you about it and you talking about that kind of losing your spark, or the energy, or the joy and other, you know, that the inspiration in it. And I thought we do really. That's that's where it actually is, more important. It's not when the story really hits you and your feeling all the sympathy. It's like the more subtle kind of wearing down of of reactivity to stuff because you're so exposed to it. And how do you keep your energy and your motivation in your empathy, in your caring and you're trying at that the level that it needs to be overtime. And I think that's really something to watch out for 4 people.

28:37 Yeah, I think we do this thing where we, there's a store of expectation. I think maybe unspoken cuz I'm, I'm thinking now. I don't know that I've ever actually heard anyone say out loud, but I think it's this unspoken rule that like we shouldn't get upset or me, hear things like this. You know, like we don't I remember, I remember actually we were sitting in on a forensic interview, you know, so far team is interviewing a child about a horrific thing to happen to them. And our team is sitting on the table watching this interview happen. And we have a new social worker, from the Department of Children and Families are brand new to the job. And this was like her second case of the day. And she's sitting there listening to this kid. Tell their story.

29:22 There's not a whole lot that prepares you for the difference in reading a child's trauma history. And then watching them tell you about it. It's very different. And so, all the sudden we're all watching and this this new social worker starts to cry uncontrollably. And I watch the, I watch the mannerisms of my team's face and they're all, they're all their faces. All say, what is she doing? We don't cry that right. Like you don't ever cry in this work and I say OK, Google to do something or say something, right? Because

29:58 It, of course, it's normal to cry, you know, this. This child is telling a horrific story and well, most of us have, you know, developed a way to sort of compartmentalize that so that we're not stopping sometimes you can't. And so, you know, the child finishes finish telling their story and I just start breathing really like loudly in and out because I know sometimes when that happens around me, I just woke up reflexively start doing it myself until I'm not, I'm hoping to myself, maybe people will just start to breathe and then after a few moments II stand up, and I say, let's let's go into the next room for a moment. Right? She's like, I've got to get myself together before. This kid comes upstairs. Michael's. Just take, take a walk to a different room and I'm just acknowledged, like this is tough. This is, it's tough to hear this and she said, I don't, I just was not prepared for

30:58 Difficult. It was going to be. I said, yeah, we don't really do a good job Preparing People for that, huh, you know.

31:06 And I just feel like when we don't eat when we stop feeling and we stopped responding. That's a problem.

31:16 You know, we don't always need to cry. We don't always need to emote in the moment.

31:23 But it should always, it shouldn't ever feel. Like I was just another bad story. No. No, you don't. These are people with a horrible human experiences and we have to have a space to acknowledge that supporting each other. I think two and acknowledging it and then being there to create a space to to to help professionals, who are in this, hold what they need to hold so that they can show up and be there to help people who are kind of newly struggling with all the emotional stuff coming up and be there for them.

32:05 What do you think in this field?

32:10 It's something that you've contributed some way that you've kind of influenced. The field wants to influence the field.

32:24 You know, when we're sort of talking about, like, questions like this. I know, I feel. I feel like I've been conditioned making mode, many of us have been conditioned to like not celebrate the winds that we bring.

32:39 Dormer flashing on that, but

32:44 I think that I I try very intentionally to just show up to connect. I think if, when I go and I reflect on my own story and my own vulnerabilities, the underlined seem is feeling disconnected and searching for ways to feel the longing and worse. And I never want another human to feel that way.

33:12 So, whether it's my colleagues or my patients or like random people walking down the street, I just

33:23 I hope, I guess that I contribute the opportunity to connect.

33:30 And and the permission for other people to show up authentically. I hope that that's what I contribute. Even if there's not a tangible thing that I ever do.

33:47 I hope that it's just,

33:51 I don't know, modeling the impact of

33:55 Just showing up.

33:58 I think that's something. It's another thing that we have in common of just like both acknowledging trauma and wanting that to be part of the the story and wanting. One of the things that I've done for many years is just try to Advocate around. This isn't just a criminal justice issue. This is social justice and at public health issue and,. And so there are ways that we need to respond that are broader. And so I think over time there's been a lot more

34:34 Attention to trauma and I am glad that I've been part of that conversation over the years and I think that that's not the end of it. And I think that there's something about that piece around connection and resiliency that you brought up before that. It's not just stopping with this is traumatic. But okay, so now what do you do with that? And how do you help people connect and grow from here? To when you think about resilience? What do you, what do you say about?

35:09 Honestly, I think that's one of the reasons why I publicly identified as a survivor in the first place. Because I didn't for 4. I mean, I think it's only been about four years. Now, since I told people that I am a survivor of multiple forms of interpersonal, violence, human trafficking just being one of them and

35:33 I think there was a part of me that.

35:38 It was important that people understood that people's traumatic experiences.

35:44 Wasn't the whole story, you know, I recognize that I've achieved a lot in my life, while living through some pretty horrific experiences and I have no doubt that that every human is capable of that. And so when I work with kids who have experienced

36:14 Really significant trauma and work with kids who are being exploited and being trafficked and the world wants to tell them. Like, this is the end of your story. You know? That you're your beer damaged and you're broken. And people are only going to care about what happened to you. Like the just the nitty-gritty, what happened to you, and they're going to want to use your story, but you still have so much more story to create, right? If we just give you some tools.

36:45 And help you identify like that fire in you every single Survivor. I have ever had the honor of meeting and working with there's a power in there. You know that when you tap into it, there's nothing you know, what I say this to myself all the time when I feel really overwhelmed or like there's a lot on my plate or you know, this is a really tough time with this. I say you have survived worse.

37:16 Right. Don't forget that. You don't need to get stuck in it. But you have survived things. People can't even fathom.

37:26 And so you can get through this, right? I maybe we got to go back to using some of your skills and you know, bringing it back to basics and doing more meditation and whatever it is that you need to do, but you can still do it.

37:40 And I think reminding people of their power and helping them just sit in it and cultivate it is is is so incredibly powerful. There are some survivors out there doing amazing work like changing our world, right and

38:05 And,

38:07 We just need to remind people that they're worthy and they're powerful.

38:15 Nnn resilience, you know, I hope that I model that for some people. I hope that I, that I'm evidence that you can go through some really hard stuff.

38:26 And and and and, and the powerful. Now I show up and help others if you want to.

38:34 And we've talked about like therapy and, you know, troubles with people getting access to therapy for complex PTSD, and all the ways that trauma impact people when it started early, and it's in a personal. And it's repeated. And the ways that people have learned from really, really early that I'm not worth while and I'm not important and I can't trust people, and people aren't safe and all of those lessons kind of influence. I think, then the trajectory and people getting into repeated situations that are reinforced, that message. And so I think what I think about us as resilience is tapping into

39:23 Exactly what you're talking about, that like that little light inside or that little spark and a maybe for some people to really, really really dim and it's really hard to find and they may not even know what's in there. And so if somebody comes along and can see it in them and help them find it and help them sit with it. That's what I think that therapy is about. That's what I think he still cares about and it and that's what I think resilience is about. Finding that belief in yourself and not trust and love for yourself in like cultivating that and growing it and finding experiences that then support it and help it grow.

40:10 Oh, I I just I love to hear one of the ways that different people do that in different ways by just interacting and connecting with somebody. Helping them find that little spark. Yeah, I think sometimes there's power and reframing the way that people have learned about themselves, right? Like so there were so many years in my life were some of my now things that I consider strikes I saw as as weakness is right. So like the way that I saw the world the way, you know, I came to the table believing that people were not trustworthy. So that's how I encountered everyone in my life.

40:59 And so, instead of like, for a long time, I was like, that's a defect. Looks like a personality trait that I don't love about myself. I don't trust people, but then I started to sort of like, through therapy and Anna doing work. I think I've been in therapy since I was about 7 years old, so I've been able to pick up on some tools trying to sort of shift that switch and say, okay, I can look at that. Like I have trouble trusting people, but also it means that I am really good at reading people, but I'm really good at, like, ticking in my surroundings. I'm really good at seeing people relating to them and that doesn't feel like a weakness.

41:45 Rape. So trying to change the story a little bit and then giving people permission to do that. So, like a lot of times when I work with, with youth,

41:55 They have heard things about themselves or they have learned lessons about themselves that they don't, you know, they're not great stories to tell, you know, that they're that they're Liars. Are there manipulative, where there are you now, whatever. Well, you know, you've also experienced some pretty tough things that have probably contributed to your inability to know like who's safe and who is not right. That a really good that's like a really important skill that has kept you alive.

42:27 Right now, there's a power in that, so I don't see that as a weakness.

42:34 I see that as strength. I just giving people permission to like look at themselves, a little bit different night, having compassion and and connecting with yourself even even in the little ways that you cope and maybe and everybody does it. We all have things that maybe we wish we didn't do, and we kind of continued to struggle with those things, but kind of being okay, with that being gentle with yourself around it, and trying to move yourself forward, except support, and keep trying to work towards building a better life.

43:14 Yeah, so I know, I know we're kind of coming up on the end of our time. But do you have thoughts about? Just what what you would want people to know about trafficking? One thing?

43:32 That you wish the people understood or knew about it.

43:39 I think one of the things that's important is to know that in most cases not all I'm sure but most cases and certainly in my case.

43:55 Trafficking was just one piece of the story, you know, and it looked different from me as it as it does many of my Survivor siblings, but there was a whole lot of whole lot of harm done before my tracking experience ever started.

44:13 And,

44:15 Therefore, there was a whole lot of opportunity for

44:22 Intervention, and connectedness and love.

44:30 That I think.

44:33 Is a really important critically important, you know, focusing on those vulnerabilities and where they come from and how can we buffer some of that?

44:47 What works? What my baby doesn't work, but like just trying something cuz all people are worth that.

44:56 So yeah, I think I'm I'm I'm grateful that people are paying attention and grateful that I have words. Now for what I experienced.

45:08 But I also I know that that there's just so much more that comes before, that, that we really have to focus on that prevention piece is critical. Absolutely me. The things that I would would say, our

45:27 You're kind of aligned with that, in that.

45:32 One thing that I think about that, I think is really important is that every person whose experience trafficking is a person?

45:41 And I think, but that is something that can get like Mist sometimes. And I'm lucky in that, I come from a field where the person is, the important thing in my home. What I do is around getting to know somebody else, but getting to know them as a full complete person and I think we've talked about that a little bit about. There's more story to tell and leaving lots of space in room for that future growth things that are, you know, that the person likes to do or what they want in their life for you. No good experiences. They've had. I think that's really important. And then I think kind of

46:21 Along the lines of what you were talking about, looking up stream and looking at the individual person and like interviewing with an individual person, early like that. Anybody can experience trafficking. But we also know that lots and lots of people have early histories of pre-existing trauma and some people are learning relationships earlier and can we intervene and stop with early trauma or intergenerational trauma? Looking at, kind of the role of that. And then looking at just other social determinants, I mean things like their things like poverty or all the isms, you know, this isn't racism. Xenophobia, like all of these things is like all the diocese and stereotypes in the world that leave people vulnerable to being in these positions. And so I think there's also a role for you. No bigger picture looking at 1.

47:21 Some of these things that lets trafficking even exist in the world. It can we make a dent? Yeah. Yeah, I think you know, when we look at it.

47:31 I always warn people about sort of the, the foul ability of data, right. And we don't miss a really hard thing to like collect data on.

47:42 Cuz it's just, it's so nuanced and Insidious, but

47:47 We look at you. No, sex trafficking. For example, we, we know I see.

47:56 That, you know, the majority of people who end up in these positions who are vulnerable to, it are our, you know, our black and brown girls and and

48:08 People whose communities are just not.

48:11 You're not poured into, you know, and

48:17 It's just, you see it. You see that cycle.

48:22 Sometimes I quite literally see it in the reports, you know that I read mom experience this and Grandma experience this and so so what are we doing to? Give the tools so that we can not see this in this person's child.

48:38 Cuz he's there not, you know, we're not bad people, because bad things have happened to us, does not mean we're bad people, right? And so, we just need some skills. We need help and support and access to all those things. And so yeah, I do think it's a bigger, the bigger picture than just an individual response.

49:02 Our whole society has created these vulnerabilities.

49:07 And so it's on all of us to repair that and and prevent those going forward.

49:19 Well, I so appreciate you coming here and talking. I just I just full of respect for you professionally. And also just personally, you know that light in that spark that you bring. It's so obvious and apparent to me that way that you, you know, our show up, so it's been really care. Talk to you. Thank you. Thank you.