Shanika Ampah and Nathan Earl

Recorded May 13, 2021 Archived May 12, 2021 57:10 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ddv000757

Description

Friends Nathan Earl (46) and Shanika Ampah (41) discuss how they each came to the anti-trafficking field, their individual stories of being trafficked, what they hope to see in the ant-trafficking field, and how they would like to pass on the torch to the next generation of leaders. Note: In this interview, Nathan misspoke and indicated he dropped out of high school. Nathan excelled in high school but would later drop out of college during his trafficking experience.

Subject Log / Time Code

Nathan (N) describes growing up in a conservative, christian home with seven siblings. He says he was born in Indianapolis before moving to Florida. N explains that he met Shanika (S) at the human trafficking leadership academy.
S says she grew up in a Christian home with two parents. She emphasizes that human trafficking is a local issue in the United States. S and N say that we may miss little girls and boys who experience trafficking if we rely on stereotypes.
N shares that trafficking is an inter generational issue. He shares that eight years ago he was volunteering for a non-profit serving young boys who had experienced sexual assault when he came across the term human trafficking. N says it ignited a passion in him to serve this population of young boys who had been trafficked.
S talks about the importance of language. She recalls when she first heard language describing what she experienced as a child. S emphasizes the importance of using accessible language when speaking about human trafficking. S says she started working for Project GOLD at Kristi House, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating child abuse and child sex trafficking because she wanted to let young women know that they could move beyond their experience of being trafficked.
N talks about the misconceptions of what human trafficking is. He talks about how drugs played a big role in his experience with trafficking and how that behavior was normalized.
S talks about the importance of addressing underlying issues that play a role in human trafficking and says that if the goal is to only eradicate human trafficking then the field will always miss the mark.
N talks discusses ACE (adverse child experiences) and how when compounded they lead to exploitation. N says ACE helps frame the issue of human trafficking as an issue of a pandemic of violence.
S shares that she has looked at what her ACE score would be but also what her children’s score would be because intervention and prevention is key. S says she also encourages other parents to do the same because she believes in the importance of changing cultures.
N shares what his experience of trafficking was like.
S talks about her experience of trafficking. She talks about the image of the ‘runaway girl’ and highlights the important of questioning why the girl ran away.
N says that the turning point for him was when a counselor encouraged him to search for meaning in the difficult and traumatic experiences he had dealt with. He says the biggest challenges after the trafficking was dealing with the psychological damage from the trauma he experienced.
N and S talk about where they see the anti-trafficking field going. N says the trend to see human trafficking as a public health crisis is a great trend. N says where the field needs to improve is the neglect of labour trafficking, people of color who are the majority of victims, and male victims. S says many anti-trafficking organizations have become exploitative. She says if you need to exploit a survivor for their story in order to get a grant, then you are doing the same thing that a pimp does. S says there is also a need for more collaboration and national bills and policies.
N talks more about adopting a wide-spread public health approach. S talks about a two-generation approach.
N talks about how he would like to pass the torch of his work on male-victimization. He says he is working to transition his responsibilities from being on the ground to teaching and training the next generation of leaders in the anti-trafficking field.
S talks about how she would like to pass on the torch. She wants to continue to be resourceful. She loves to serve, be present in the community, and perform outreach. S talks about the importance of thinking beyond the term survivor.

Participants

  • Shanika Ampah
  • Nathan Earl

Recording Location

Virtual Recording

Partnership

Partnership Type

Fee for Service

Places


Transcript

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00:00 Hi, my name is Nathan Earl. I'm 46 years old. Today's date is Thursday, May 13th. 2021. Today. I'm recording from Dallas, Texas, with Shanika ampah, who was one of my besties. I can just might consider her my sister.

00:16 Hi, my name is

00:18 I am 41 years old. Today's date is Thursday, May 13th, 2021. And I'm recording from Pembroke Pines, Florida with my amazing brother and Nathan Earl. Why call my Advocate buddy?

00:33 So Nathan, let's talk about where you were born. And where do you live now? And let's give a little back a story about how we met sure. Absolutely, sure. I was born in a little town outside of Indianapolis called the Plymouth, Indiana. I was born to with the little sister or my favorite little sister. I have seven older half brothers and sisters, born into a really Conservative Christian home. My parents were missionaries when I was a little kid a baby and then we moved to Florida. So I grew up in Florida. The Florida boy all over the central Florida, Tampa Bay and the last 15 years. I'd say 12 years. I've been living in South Florida Fort. Lauderdale's, where where I call home. My name is also, where, where you and I met you? I was thinking about this question and it was the during the human trafficking Leadership Academy. We had a road trip where they chose three or four

01:33 Four of the Miami Advocates to go back and forth on these weekends and per month for the for the academy and you and I were sitting in the backseat we have never met but I can promise you it. Every time I got my stomach was cramping from laughing and we laughed so hard. I thought I missed. That's what I miss about. Those trips is when we finna, always remember when we first met

01:58 Remember like the road trips the bonding. And like at that point in time, I think I was relatively new to Des Moines National piece of becoming a Survivor leader. And so just being in the same vehicle in the same room with so many other people that was doing this work was like I was like something it all and I was like did we just walked away calling each other brother and sister on my wanted. I wanted us to talk about because for my soul

02:36 One of five children. I was born in a home with my mom and my dad and, you know, both of my parents were there. Both of my parents didn't have much of an education and I, and I say start with some of these things, because I think we, we look at where we are now and a lot of issues that we're dealing with. And I think some of those things really did play a part in what happened. And so for me, I was a Christian home, but with my parents was there. I was almost 18, honor roll. I'm just all of those things. I grew up in Miami-Dade County and I have and it's very important as us. Having this dialogue for me to point out that what we're talking about is our issue. Not you know, it's the United States issue. Is our local children issues just as much as the International Peace of the human trafficking on fight because

03:36 Someone miss the little girl. Someone would have missed the native, you know, american-born little girl because we is so much easier to think o the third world country children, but here, we both were growing up in the United States with a family. We're not in foster care and it's important for us to bring this conversation. Talk to me. I didn't meet you. When you started this works at all. Let, let let me hear. Where did your anti trafficking work begin? And how did you get into this paperwork or sure? Definitely, before I move? I just wanted to say I can definitely relate to to that upbringing. I love the fact that you brought that up about that missing the little girl, the little girl are missing a little boy for just relying on those stereotypes as I mentioned earlier because my, my parents were Christian missionaries, why had you know, if there were nine kids all together, but I was a white sister.

04:36 Christian boy from, you know, you're up in Florida and fell through all the cracks and there wasn't any there weren't any boxes that I could have checked off when I was younger, you know, I started this works at formally about 8 years ago. I was it's it's crazy. My mom. I was living in Fort Lauderdale working for within HIV services and my mom got cancer back in and back home. So I left the job and I went back home to take care of her and it was just it was a real healing time for my family and I, my my fat, my mom. What we know about your trafficking is that it is intergenerational. Both me and my younger sister were victimized as young as young people. My mom had been victimized when she was when she was young person as well. And it was this time where my family came together and we were looking for healing or looking to assign meaning to some of the, you know, the suffering and the Twisted things that have happened. I

05:36 Started volunteering for a nonprofit that work with a with sexually abused boys. And this was eight years ago. I had never really talked openly about my own trap king experience. But when working with this nonprofit trying to elevate the the plight of a male victim of sexual abused boys, we came across the term trafficking and I can tell you, she's the one, I came across, that I was like, oh my God, it's just like you would have just said, I for. So long. That human trafficking was in the third world countries or in Asia, or in Europe. And it never dawned on me. And it was, it was one of those aha moments where I came across the word trafficking and it was something I probably subconsciously knew and then it was one of those things where the connection was made. And then it started, it started a movement with inside me a passion with it. With inside me, where organically came across this need or, you know, elevating the play.

06:36 Trafficking boys, but there just wasn't really any saying we weren't. We didn't have any programs over there was no conversation that years ago. And so a lot of prayer and a lot of dealing with my family was actually my mom and my sister and I founded the first nonprofit that I that I that I led for about 8 years, our freedom

06:56 Thank you so much, amazing work and I think for me we just have this conversation with me and that's what I love about you because we will real when we have this conversation. Like people that may hear this interview might not know that. They that there's a heterosexual black female sitting on one side with a white female American white male on the, I mean, you know, on the other side and the too far away spectrums of school is represented here, but I want us to talk about like the language language is everything for trafficking the word traffic. It just came along at the right and so here I was, I didn't I didn't identify as a victim of anything. I knew bad, things happened to me as a kid. My community blank me.

07:48 Why was a kid being prostituted? And that's what it was that I chose to be prostitute prostitute, Toot It? And so, here I am. When I first heard the word, I didn't even hear the word trafficking. I think I've had saw a ad from the children's trust in Miami-Dade that they were having a forum about children who are being sold for sex or something like that, but it wasn't more in simple terms. And I was about 30 and I was like, that's me, like, knew that that was me just by the, the terms that was used had they said, traffic. I would have never identified myself. I would have never knew that it was something that that I had experienced as a kid and sold on. One of the things is important to to make sure that when we're having conversations about awareness, is that where you was in terms that the people,

08:48 We're addressing understand because nobody that's not many people who really understand that they are being traffic. That's the sad thing. Like, why we're doing the advocacy work. We have to always understand that. Not a lot of people know that we're speaking about that. So, how could you help people get out something that they don't even identify that beer in cuz mentally I was already your nerves. I was a Mom of eight children at the time, but I didn't know that they were that this thing that had happened to me as a kid for seven years of my childhood was a crime and or bad and or something that I needed help with and I needed to process and I had trauma behind it, like no one told me. And so that's when I just knowing and identifying, that was me shortly after that, my my voice in my mouth with along with the work and I began to Mentor Young.

09:48 Ladies at Chrissy's house. And so that's where I started my my work. Just meant when other young ladies and it wasn't really about traffic. And I think, I think I just wanted young women to know that they can beat the odds. Because here I am, I can share what happened to me. I can share the sexual abuse. I can share the trafficking and Empower them, but they can still be a nurse. You can still be amazing person. And so that's why I just started my working and then it just, it just carried me. You know, the journey just continue and I think like, when you

10:27 When you choose and I say choose because everybody that survived don't have to be a Survivor leader and they don't have to share the story. But when you choose to do this work, I think that the journey would take you where you should be and where you can be most impactful, definitely know, absolutely for sure. You know, you mentioned that language matters. I'm going to go and and looking for the meaning of the term trafficking and I think for me the channels that we see in the movement today is, you know, we have mainstream discoursed. Cease human trafficking is you know, this the white European female and it's are abducted in their snatch. When I didn't even know what what trafficking met and I certainly didn't identify it for me. Drugs are drugs are a big part of my mice, my story, I'm going to turn to drugs when I was too enough to cope with the abuse. When I was a boy, all the way through High School couch in the actual trafficking. And so for me, that was normalize, the exploitation was no,

11:27 License, so it was years and years before I would have ever thought that someone had been victimized, right? That's just a consequence of being a baser or be in the attic, and uncle are the same lines. I know there was between use the term trafficking as if you don't like this one, isolated incident put for me and I know four for four others, there was a long, a Continuum of different types of violets. I mean, there are times various points in my life where I have identified more with areca person in recovery person recovering from substances Survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Someone who's had experience with intimate partner violence. There's Street based violence. There are so many things along a Continuum that are interwoven with human trafficking. That it it's seems one of the challenges that we we see in the community is because we're looking for this, this one isolated thing. And I think

12:24 I just wanted to thank you for bringing that up cuz it's I think it's important to the narrative that we're rebuilding across the community.

12:32 So, Nathan that kind of leave right internet switch. Like how did we get here? Right? And sometimes you're sitting there you like. How did this happen for a kid? How did this happen to any individual? How could this still be happening in, in, in this world? How could hold on, quote modern day slavery? Still be happening. How did we missed it? How could we have not solved the issue when they went? When we said that we were setting people freak. And so I know that like myself.

13:05 This is what we always speak about language. And really addressing the issues is not. If we try to solve human trafficking by solving human trafficking, then we missed it already. I always say that we missed it. If we're saying we're here to eradicate trafficking, then you missed it because life just so when I didn't know that I was to Survivor of human trafficking or victim of human trafficking. I knew that I had been sexually abused as a kid. I knew that the incest was wrong. I didn't know that. All the other man sleeping with me was wrong because the first incident of the incest and all the other things, normalized it, right? And so how could we go back and say, we're going to fix trafficking, but we still haven't had the true conversations about our underlying issues. And when I we speak about the underlying issues and how did we get here? And we had a normal family.

14:05 Whatever was supposed to be more, we're talking about human being, I think, as a community out, not just human trafficking or anti trafficking of a movement. I talk about real communities, where people live. We still need to look at the Aces and I just asked you taught me this, like, I'm literally sitting in rooms with you and having conversation with you. You taught me with this score is so you can you tell me a little bit of like said, so if anybody wants to hear this conversation that they can pick up on it cuz I I pray that not only people who are familiar with this but this this interview makes it to people's ears who don't know what we're talkin about. So they can be informed. And then I'm going to follow up about what I've been trying to do to emphasize this particular number. And how impact with his own, where what's going on in our lives, in terms of trouble. So, could you explain that in a like,

15:05 Call Ace coursework causes of exploitation of human trafficking. And when you looking for a research perspective, there are three domains everything from from maltreatment and malnourishment to exposure to domestic violence. Having a parent addicted to drugs. A young person addicted to drugs adverse childhood experiences trauma racism. That, when, when compounded lead to exploitation and what it happens, if you have a young child in the developmental years, when these templates are forming and you have each instance of basically, poly victimization, where you have this young boy, or young girl. Young child experience to domestic violence in the home. And then the parent is addicted to drugs and they pimp out the child for, for sex. Tube to the

16:05 Dealer. The kids bullied at school because he says, has a feminine Behavior because he thinks he's gay. But the daddy of the mommy goes to prison. So you have all of these adverse childhood experiences in communities where children rise from and at such a young age. It stunts developmental growth, are they, the child loses develops? A mistrust of the system. They have no stable support critical thinking skills are stunted. And so it leaves too risky and unhealthy behaviors and that manifests differently, you know, through through adolescence into into the early twenties, where we can literally Trace back these adverse childhood experiences leading to exploitation, and that we're truly kind of frames the, the this issue has a pandemic of violence from this public health perspective, in Social determinants of Health.

16:57 Thank you so much. So this is where I've been with up with the ace survey. I have literally taking the time to score myself and look at. Okay, I'm getting out of out of the 10 questions. That's on most of the surveys and get paid or 9, probably 2:10. If I really look at it right now, waiting my childhood. But as a mom of nine children without begin to do, I begin to score that same test where my kids were happy and what their scores were? And I said that because intervention and prevention goes hand-in-hand in Awareness, right? And so we got to look at the a scores much earlier. We got to go back in address those issues and correct them know. It's it's so Coulter and cultural behaviors on, with the taxes.

17:57 Can have you ever been yelled at? Have you ever been hit? Has you know, anybody in your family ever went to jail? Have we have to go back and we have to address those issues as a culture or stop culture stopping taking the test for myself. I've been reading it and scoring it for my children. But then what so might then what has been asking other adult other parents to do the same and in that very moment that they realize that the score and how it's going to affect the outcome that they need to begin to observe their behaviors and make change unlearn some of their behaviors, be willing to relearn and learn new behaviors when it comes to Parenting. And I just been starting to do that even with

18:50 Pregnant women. I want them to see what the outcome can be before the kid gets here. And it's just it's just what it has been. I think it's important that I didn't introduce myself as I didn't introduce myself and the founder of the organization. Guiding Light Outreach that does community work and the community work isn't specific to human trafficking. What address is like, I underline issues within a community. I didn't reduce myself as a nurse who works in a clinic providing care to Only Human Trafficking survivors, and I didn't and into the deuce myself as an advocate. You will see me advocating for mini Community issues. I wanted to go back to that piece Nathan because we talked about where we are and how it works. And what

19:50 Doing.

19:52 We need to, I want people to know who we are, you know, before anybody knew Nathan, Earl, the person that began to speak about what they, what you experience.

20:04 I want you to, I want people to know who we are before that. And so let's talk about like if you feel like to share that then, you know, I think like ushering is our personal a personal space if you feel like to share like, what was your trafficking situation, like, and I'll share what mine was kind of like, because I was a kid, like, you know, so let's talk about what it was. Like, if you feel like sharing that piece, absolutely think it's important to share the diversity of experiences. I think, definitely those Aces Ace. Cory was a high, a score, my upbringing, you know, I mentioned earlier on the front, it was this white, Christian family, with two, with two parents and then his big family, but the reality was at my, my mom was really sick. Mentally. Both parents have been victimized. There was a lot of domestic violence. I was exposed to pornography at a, at a very early age, hyper-sexualized me.

21:04 Which kind of led to the normalization of exploitation by the aces. So by the time, and into all of that, I was encouraged to watch. Pornography is a music conversion therapy from my parents, think taking out with her believing, I was gay. So they're all of these things from the caregivers in my home and in the super Conservative Christian home that hot literally from the pulpit that gay people are going to be lit on fire, go to this place called hell like the caregivers, even though the big one upstairs had failed me. And so I had this huge mistrust them system. I was rebellious as I turned to drugs, drugs were Mike that we're not a, not a healthy coping mechanism, but they were successful for me. All of these, all those things called when a team together led me into dropping out of college and lots and lots of years of unprocessed trauma. And I was about nineteen years old where I kind of been floated.

21:59 I dropped out of high school ended up on the streets was became hooked on drugs. Engage starting engaging in sex work as a means of supporting myself every night. I could get off the streets. Was an, I left chances of being arrested and less chances of, getting beat down on the street, being sexually assaulted and came across a drug dealer, who met those needs provided some validation. And so I moved in with him and so it met the physical need. I didn't have to worry about being withdrawn from from drugs or alcohol. It was the safety need off the streets and away from the police. And that quickly turned into intimate what we called. Intimate partner violence, very violent, nightly sexual assaults, being forced to sell drugs and then eventually being traded to other drug dealers for optical drug debts.

22:51 And so, you know, they're depending on my state of mind. When you look at the definitions of human trafficking, depending on my state of mind. It was definitely along a Continuum the victimization, whether it was commercial sexual exploitation, sexual assault, partner, violence, human trafficking. And that, that was my life for much of my twenties in and out of jail hooked on drugs. They don't know how many times I was traffic to be truthful with you nor sexually assaulted and that was, that was my, that was my truth until, you know, I'm, I got out of the Life by 29 after a counselor in jail, kind of started working with me.

23:35 Now that thank you for sharing at night that I feel like when we share a story, it it it gives us an opportunity to be transparent and also to host and power someone, because there is someone that thinks that they're just the attic. There's another person that thinks that I'm just in this bad relationship. There's someone that just thinks that I'm, I'm the only one that can pull this relationship out of the financial situation, by being the trade. Like, there's someone that just believe that and they did not going to fire us human traffic after human trafficking victim.

24:17 My story is a bit different. So here I am being sexually abused. And is so typically we talked about the runaway girl, and, and like, but why do children run? What? Why is it that a child has runny? I always use this analogy when a dog goes missing. You have the owner to owner goes out. Put up, signs put up. Have you seen my dog out so much money on a dog is so much compassion and love shown towards this member of the family. The cat anymore cuz we're talkin about the member of the family, right? Oh, he's like my my child is becomes a member of the family. And when the, when the dog or the member of the family, the pet is found so much time and effort is put into restoring this.

25:12 Animal the vet bills. The the deworming, you know, we going to spend that money and we also go to a another step of identifying. How did he get out? What happened? We go. Look around the backyard with the gate. Had a hole in it. We fix the game and then we began to say things like all that happened. The day that I left work. I didn't go straight home. I had a meeting, the dog must have gotten hungry and we start understanding and wanted to understand. Why did I dog get but nobody ask those same questions when it was the kid. Why did this kid?

25:55 Who is an honor. Roll classes in a very are all honor classes with both parent? Why did this kid run? Who lived in a really good Community? Why did the skit when no one asked? No one that snake then and it just became

26:12 Oh, she wanted to run. Oh, she chose to rent. No one talked about the sexual abuse and even went in. I wish someone with would have talked about the sexual abuse.

26:29 The identity.

26:32 And everything about my family wrote on my back. So we couldn't talk about it because of the family name. We couldn't, we couldn't discuss it. We couldn't expose it because of the family name. We had to uphold the family name, the family name of whatever the last name or whatever, the position of the family was in the community of, you know, my dad been on business on there. It all was held up. Why my name the little girl, the who are the prostitutes light like the names that I was called was being diminished. And so all of my family name wrote on my back and no one cared that my name was being drug through the mud. And so I talked about that because when I come to, when I left the house, I didn't run across the country. Nathan out, wrong. What's right in my neighborhood. And so here I am and why I dressed human trafficking. Ask let's deal with the community because everybody in my community pretty much new.

27:32 Now that I'm speaking about it. We have the women that comes to apologize because they knew or we have the men that apologize because they had a part in it or the men that say I'm sorry because I didn't do anything, but all of the people and the people that were my age, they knew something. And so before I even met someone who identified himself as a pimp, the gang rapes, the not going home because I'm going to trade you to this other person for whatever gain all came from people who knew, where my house was, they knew my parents. They could have taken me home. The pimp like the pimp, and I'll make a quotation marks for the people who wouldn't be able to see that person who's label. That's the tracker.

28:23 Met me after I was already in a mindset that this, this couldn't get any better. And I really felt that it couldn't get any better, Nathan for one reason. And you've hurt me, tell this piece of the story. The fact that my community police officer, saw sex tape with about five to six adult. Men sexually abusing me and I call it sexual abuse, because they knew they'd be a chest x-ray. We're out then, and they record that and the fact that the police officer from my community here. I was probably 11, 12 years old at the time. I didn't know that there was different police departments with different neighborhood. I really didn't know that because back in Miami, when you said you lived in Miami, Florida, you didn't live in Pinecrest, or you didn't live in Miami, so I really didn't know that the city of Miami Police Department didn't represent.

29:20 The whole United States, Police Department like 4 for the ignorance of the little girl. And so wherever I was trafficked in everything that happened to me, I just believe that the police already knew and he pretty much if the police knew, who else could I tell? And that was my mindset. And so as things got progressively, worse and took me further and further away from home. I just never really never thought that there would be hope that I will be taken out rescued, or whatever. It's going to be. I just didn't know because the police knew he knew it was a kid. So who is this was my mindset and so

30:04 If I was to talk about you, you spoke about this person that helped you. And I have time for me to get out the lifestyle, and I say lifestyle, because I don't like saying the word life and that's another thing with wording for me. Like it wasn't a life since I don't want to talk about a life cuz it's in the life. No, that wasn't really life for me. It was a lifestyle in the moment is so for me to get out. I had to really run, like, hell, I had to run, like hell and when I rent, like, he'll most times. I went back to the same behaviors because I had my body that made me money. I had my body that could get me food. I had my body that can get me a place to live and so to get out of the lifestyle.

30:52 I really had to run like hell and I and I always talk about our reverted to this one friend from the community that everybody else thought was a bad person too cuz she was in games and stuff. And but she really gave me a place to live. That did not require me to sell my body to eat or sleep there. And that was that was part of me getting out of that lifestyle. When I talk about, getting that lifestyle. I want people to understand that getting out the lifestyle. Does it just isn't about being removed from the environment right out of the club? No more still in a practice. Cuz now I had, I went from those places where you can find me to still turn in date because I now I had to pay rent and so my clientele

31:52 Two businessmen on city workers of school board workers. There is a different from being on, in the club, in the sex life. It took probably another 10 years for me to finally be out out to find my value and find my words. And so I say that because sometimes people don't understand the cycle that quote, on quote survivors, go through, and they want a quick fix to our life and they want to end all fix all. And why you might be able to fix that. You're out of the lifestyle, but you still got the addiction that don't understand why you went back to the addiction on. Why you went back to an abusive relationship. Could you speak to that? No absolutes. It's so incredibly important that we that we seen throughout the conversation is you know, this is much.

32:52 Women just an isolated incident and you're absolutely right. I was in current, I was in jail. I was behind bars. When a counselor and mr. Tony Hamer, saw something in me and started asking Deep dive questions. And I remember the turning point for me was from trafficking from victimization. Certainly not from the challenges of the consequences of the being in the Life. Quote on quote. He said Nathan, if there's meaning and the good things in life, there must be meeting in the Twisted ship. And those why I believe that was for bayta and I was with, those were burned. Those words were burned into my brain, and he was paraphrasing Viktor Frankl. And I always share that Viktor Frankl. The teachings of Viktor Frankl where where, what helped me get out of the life that I missed your Hammer, but here's the thing for once believed that there was some type of meaning. I didn't know what it was but there was something behind all of the Twisted crap that I have been through and that was enough for me to do. That was that was enough.

33:52 Need to say OK Google question. Is there meaning I buy this time? I couldn't even say my name. I was so strung out. I was just a skeleton really.

34:03 Until I gave me a little bit of hope. I was, I was educated a little bit about what different types of victimization work. And I was educated a little bit about why I was using while I was turning to drugs so much. But here's the thing. I never, that was the last time that I went to jail. I was never sexually assaulted after that, after that point, but the underlying Deep dive trauma therapy, was never provided a, we didn't just a 20 years ago. We didn't have we have little resources now or unprogram sure. They're there helping men process sexual assault or sexual violence. We had nothing back there. Until while I'm not being traffic. I still have it. I'm still have addiction or substance dependency. This order on this time. It was crack cocaine. You name it. I was I was abusing that I had all this unprocessed trauma and I had to learn that my current CI, my body was to come out of

35:04 And so are you all right? I am not being victimized by trafficking but I'm still thrown into the into like a real world with no life skills, with a substance dependence disorder with me on the dress mental health challenges. No job skills and patterns. Now have trauma bonding and intimate, partner violence with every with in every relationship that I got into, and that's been to the biggest challenge. It wasn't so much the trafficking anymore. Okay, that's what happened and it was done. Now. This is been the latter, 20 years of my life, where I've been sometimes crawling sometimes fighting and Scrappy and sometimes enjoying a little bit of Peace because I because I've stayed the course. And what's happened is by staying. The course. I've been able to process a lot of that trauma. I no longer I have to engage in sex work. I no longer have to be sexually exploited. I've been able to assign meaning to those things. And I've been able to develop professionally and then emotionally, but

36:04 The psychological damage. That was that's life long. I mean, it's an everyday battle. I was a former IV drug user. Those there are days when it gets really stressed out, but that's what my that's what I know and it's been 2025 years.

36:25 Thank you for sharing it. Wow.

36:28 Wow. Nathan, I want to. I want I want us to wait fresh chicken breast.

36:41 I truly value and your perspective in your Works in a way that you say things because I

36:50 That's a different. It shouldn't be, but all honesty. We still have so much more work to do. When we're talking about just the mail. We not even talk about the lgbtq, but just the male victims and I can say that as a female Survivor.

37:08 And if we really, and I and I made a promise to myself, if I ever have the opportunity to speak that, I need to be inclusive of all people. I'm not just talking about human trafficking and then wording sex trafficking and use it. And speaking, mostly about that. We need to be inclusive to the label traffic and we need to be inclusive. What have you seen? And where are we in this movement? I have, I think five years under my belt, but where are we in this movement? You tell me and then I'll give you my first time going. I think the movement as a whole has made great strides in some areas and in some areas, I think it's falling way behind the trend to really approach human trafficking as a public health priority and a Public Health crisis. I think it's been the most impactful over the past three to five years.

38:08 More more stakeholders were seeing Federal funding and granting that we're seeing outcomes based on public health approaches to human trafficking. As of as a pandemic of violence. We still see unfortunately areas that we're falling behind or that we are behind. There are certain areas, but we're not talking about male victimization. We're not talking about Labor trafficking. There are very well-funded large organizations and people with influence that continue to perpetuate this narrative that human trafficking is the sex trafficking of a white person of a white female. And that they know better that twenty years after the passing of the TV. PA of the trafficking victims protection act, We Know Better, there used to be there is no longer a dearth of knowledge to research around these issues. There's there's, there's research now that supports that and I would say, the biggest challenge then to the movement is the co-signing.

39:08 This behavior from in a people of influence within the movement who fail to consciously neglect labor trafficking, survivors and victims people of color who are disproportionately affected by this crime in this epidemic and male victims. What's your take? Applaud the fact that we're bringing over there again, but I will also say, sometimes when you bring any information that is not fully correct, you do a disservice to the work. And I say that because there has been a bandwagon jump on the human trafficking bandwagon, right? And so you get all of these people come on board as say they want to help with Miss information and it does more harm. I just can't even imagine how many more task forces and it's good. It's good. Cuz we have more people doing the work of how many more?

40:08 Task forces, are we going to get to duplicate some of the services? But not really understand. And I'm not talking about just terms of trauma-informed, care if we cannot say the word without the practicing of it, right? And so I've seen it. I'm not the person that going to a rummage sale, not survive. If anything, is when I show up, I show up out of nerves or whatever. My other descriptions of my life is. But when I get there and I see these things happening, I think that I'm movement as a whole, it has become a Lotus. And I'm, and, you know, I always say that I would say that when you have to, when you have to explore the Survivor for their story for the grant, then you did. Just what the pimp or the trafficker did. Yes, girl. And so when you have organizations that I didn't write it.

41:08 Grant how much did they were going to pay the speaker? The expert speaker of the Survivor, right? How could you not have put that in your Gran? And I've been at the place where there's so many people want to come up in and speak and be active and proactive in this movement and it shouldn't be about this story of myself of not, a lot of the young women that I've been mentoring. I don't want to have the conversation with them of how much they should be charging for speaking engagements. It's kind of like, because I was the bottom because I was the recruiter now having the same conversation is so much. It it mirrors the what we're supposed to be fighting. And so we're who's the bottom organization, who's the bottom, or the bottom corner of the Survivor leaders, it becomes. So it is, it's disgusting to me, Nathan, really? And truly. I feel like

42:08 We need to go back into a room with the anti-human trafficking and we need to make sure that we're not marrying. The, the monster that we're trying to fight and we need to be true to that work.

42:24 There's so many people and realistically we can say something and I anti-human-trafficking moving but we need to be where everything in this world is about supply. And demand human trafficking is about supply and demand. The grants is about supplying to me as if we didn't have a demand for wouldn't have a reason for our services. But anytime that someone's that is receiving, our service is only like a number. That we have an issue. That should not be on the front of our faces. We supposed to serve everybody and a social service Manor is that says we care about you, not because we need your signature, we need you to sign it. And that's when the anti-human Trafficking Organization the movement. Other than that, I would say, I would hope that that we can have some units e and unity. And some of the bills and policies that's being passed because we have certain things that's going to be effective in Florida and this same victim.

43:24 Needs to go back to Texas or Arkansas to close some of their legal cases, but they won't be granted the same privileges because every state have is there different rules. And so I would love for us to work on policies and bills. That really says, wanted to take a look at what the restoration of someone likes. You look at look like I can. I can tell you, I've given I'm training to lawyers and judges and I can tell them I could have been caught off your criminal. How do you caught me with the drug that I was supposed to be trafficking? While I was being human trafficking, I was being used the drug traffic at 16 years old. How you caught me in some of those presents, with with eight ball of cocaine in my vagina. You wouldn't have cared that I was a victim. You would have charged me as a, as a as a criminal. And so when we look at that, we have

44:24 A lot of work to do because it we have to go beyond the layers. The top players, we have to pull this way back.

44:34 When you were speaking, you're talking about the public health initiative seeing human trafficking as a public health initiative, and how do we fight it? Because this is present in every Community is here. And what, what, how could we? And I wanted I wanted to bring this up because I remember when we were in the human trafficking Leadership Academy, we talked about the two generational approach. Do you remember that? And so, how could we as a movement of people?

45:06 And as a country if we can just do without country first. If you would go and be the rescue Savers to other countries and we can really take this public health initiative. What do you see that looking like moving forward? I think for me, I truly believe that it's where we'll see where we move the needle with the movement is adopting. This public health, widespread public health approach when you look at that than public report about what is a public health approach. It draws from the the cdc's violence, prevention model, the social ecological model and social determinants of Health with any community. And that Maps out, initially risk factors at the individual that relationship with the community and the societal level. And so, here's the thing, if you have a, if you have a pandemic of violence, or any kind of epidemic, you first need to find out what it what its core, how to put her what it was when is the definition and then our people at risk, once you are

46:06 Unify the risks up, cross the community, then you can identify preventive and intervention strategies that counter each of those risk factors.

46:16 So for instance, if there's an individual socio-ecological map and it community ecomap, so basically you're taking an individual in your identify. What are the risk factors for that? For that person, low self-esteem, fear, that the individual level, one of those risk factors that can lead to exploitation. And then, you're going to expand in one sphere out to his relationships, family appears teachers, the lack of stable supports. The lack of relationships are found in that second sphere, the third sphere goes out to The Community, the lack of awareness, the lack of training on male victim identification, the lack of training around transgender victimization and so on and so forth. And then, finally, that outer sphere looks at the side of the societal implications of risk factors in. So that would be like, what you were talking about the lack of policies, a lack of procedures to lack of inclusive funding opportunities.

47:16 That's so now you have within the community this map at the individual level of risk factors that can lead to the exploitation of a child. What you can also do you apply the same practice and at the center of that, that map is a community so that the individual Community level, what are the individual risk factors, what what and so on and so forth. That's what that does. Is it provides a framework of identifying the week, the gaps in the systems within a community.

47:49 Identifies. The other social determinants of health and comorbidities such as intimate partner, violence, sexual abuse exposure to violence racism intergenerational trauma frames at. And then it creates a map or a framework to develop protective factors that would counter each of those. Each of those risk factors, whether that's at the end of module, or the community level. And so, what does that mean? Is prevention as education. Its increased access to Aces screenings, for families and and individuals. It's more funding for substance abuse treatment and it's more trauma-informed training so that our detox facilities are really looking at the various types of victimization as opposed to selling. Someone just stopped, using the dope. Just put the needle down.

48:41 Those are just some of these examples that we, you know, that we identify you and I both together at the at the leadership academy. When we ask that question. What it, what are some of your thoughts, was it looks like you got the two generational approached, I think about how it turns back into the public health initiative. Making sure that we address those issues of Public Health include homelessness. It includes a mental health. Components include are HIV status of numbers, right? And so I look at all of that. But when I think about the two generational, I think about the fact that my mom was sexually abused, she didn't deal with it. I was being sexually abused, we didn't deal with it. Then as a Survivor. That's now I'm dealing with it. But a woman that has nine children how each and every one of my children would be impacted or affected by my traumas.

49:41 What I've been through. And so when would that cycle in? Would that cycle end when one of my children now? Who have been exposed to quote on quote, who I am as a parent do to my traumas unhealed, trauma Sunday, with traumas. Would it negatively affect their mental health, behaviors. And you will see you. Now, my child ask that public health statistics within the mental health hospitals, and, or with a, then affect one of my children that would be, according to Walt's other people at a addict. If we don't start looking at it the way you see it, and it and it's just what you explained. We are going to always have these layers, are we never going to really address it? And each family can be impacted inspected for Generations Generations, upon generations, and when we come back to the

50:41 What causes we're not dealing with just the trafficking. We dealing with public health issues. Mental health is a root cause of poverty is a root, cause any qualities is a root cause systemic racism is a real hard. And so, when we're talking about human trafficking ice as a person who have dealt with human trafficking from the levels of my community, I go back to these communities and it's still present because we still have not figured out affordable housing. What are people? Who is Securities? Just food and securities like somebody offering you food is a vulnerability or how could that be? So that's my take on it. I want to ask you this.

51:36 With all the great work that you've done.

51:40 How do you and what do you see yourself and how you're moving the torch and passing the torch? There's going to be a Survivor or a victim or someone that isn't has never been victimized. What would you have to say to that person? What would your words be to impact a life? I don't know what two to three years ago. I did it. Today was a quiz in church. It wasn't a quiz. It was a lessons on finding our spiritual gifts Unica, and I learned that mine were apostleship compassion and empathy. And I could understand compassion and empathy. I was natural to me. I can see it every day at my work and my feelings for other people. It took me a little while to understand what the Apostle shipment. And for me, where I am today was his teaching teaching what I was teaching, what I know. What I've learned to the Next Generation. You said you mentioned passing the torch, you know, I got into the Moon.

52:39 8 years ago professionally and it was it has been challenging. Not only is it from other personal level but just constantly fighting for male rights or to elevate. The fight of male victims has been challenging. We've celebrated great successes with Federal funding, with Grant legislation with grants and legislation, but there are still and communities. Still, when you mention of accusation, the doors are shut. There's a new generation. There's a new generation of people being that of our arriving to the to the movement. But they are also looking forward to make their Mark in the world. And how I think I'm passing the torch is expanding my, my, my responsibilities or I guess transitioning, those responsibilities from that boots-on-the-ground, Advocate fighting for change to empowering the next generation of leader, are the next generation of emerging leader from our high schools or universities with everything that I've done. I've learned throughout the way, there is great value.

53:39 Those failures and successes. And I think the, where the Legacy that I'd like to leave is is really ensuring the human trafficking is, is countered by every facet of the community that survivors have a true voice and their respected for their lived experience. And then to be able to, to really say in in 5, 10, 15 years. And now that look back and say, yeah, we made a difference. What about you and everything? That I know I was saying for me is to continue to be a life and the light so shine. And so, that mean, whenever I'm walking, I want to be resourceful. I see people walking everyday. They just want to know. Where's the shelter? How could I find food tonight? And so, that's what that's my work. My work is beyond sitting in an office building, but it's more Outreach. I love to

54:39 I love to make myself present in the community that when people need I can I can respond and so

54:49 How would I continue to pass the torch to anybody that wants to do this work? I would say to any Survivor. You don't have to stand on a platform to share your story. You can just meant we're back down where you can, you can, you can just be whatever you chose to be. That alone, says that you survived on the

55:13 The quote, on quote, turn Survivor sometimes Keeps Us in an hour. I got to survive mode. And when do we no longer become, just a Survivor? When do we call a driver? Or Overcomer? I'm more than I'm greater than, you know, I am what I got said. I am. Like, that's what I want to be. I'm never just got on this planet, just to survive. I'm a person that comes to bring my great, you know, great ideas and share it with people. That impact the Earth to love people that I'm good at that,. Yes, you are. They were created from somebody to love them and love shouldn't come with all of the other hurts. You know, people say I love hurts but watch like me loving, you shouldn't hurt and if I love it, if I hurt you. I apologize if it was not intentionally, but I shouldn't put my effort.

56:13 Hurt you everyday. And so that's one of my worst, Nathan, truly to see work, the work of the anti-human trafficking movement in the next 5 to 10 years, would mean the world to me, not because I want to eradicate it all, but I sure don't want my children to be a victim, or my grandchildren to be a victim. And so that's what makes me continue to do this work. When you can talk about this for hours for days. We can have different dialogues. We can come from the professionals from the live experience side inside. You want to thank you for just coming on and for us to share this opportunity to speak. Sure, and ideals and continue to do, you know, Embrace each other and keep moving forward. Yeah. Thanks for all you do is that this has been a real pleasure snake. I love you.