ACTIVITIES AND OUTCOMES

 
  1. We analyzed the existing services to assist women victims of trafficking.
 
We discussed about the services, organizations and help frameworks used by women victims of trafficking, specifically those who reported their captors to the police. We analyzed the response authorities gave, how the women felt in the interviews, and also we the relation with the persons who helped them (social services, NGO,s police, lawyers, psychologists, etc.).
 
        Outcome:
  • We recognize that many of the people who attended and helped us have played a very important role. We highlight their commitment and support despite limited available resources. We know that many of them felt powerless about our situation, some of them cried in despair; and still they had kind words to cheer us up.
 
  • We also met people who made us feel very sad. They would not trust us and would wary of what we said or wanted. These people made us feel that we were the only ones with responsiblilty for what had happened to us.
 
  • Some cops, consulates, lawyers and judges expected un to behaved like perfect victims, performing our stories like people who know when to speak, what to say and when we may cry.
 
  1. We analyzed protocols, agendas and handbooks of assistance to victims of trafficking. 
 
We analyzed acting, handbooks and guidance documents used to identify, attend and detect victims of trafficking. Later we contacted with the authors of those documents.
 
Outcome:
  • The authors were surprised that victims would show up assessing their work.
  • We were also surprised when we found out that most of these people and organizations NEVER had met any victim of trafficking.
  • It was very disappointing to find out that these protocols and handbooks speak about  “Imagined victims”.
 
  1. Reflections from our experience to escape trafficking.
We have compared the needs, services and resources used by women to escape from trafficking: women who reported to the authorities as well as women that went through informal processes.
 
Outcome:
  • The main need of women who suffered trafficking is to find a job to take back control of her life. A job provides peace of mind and gives strength to face off physical and psychological challenges. 
 
  • Many of us have been looking for help from people or institutions that DON’T KNOW what trafficking is about and, therefore, can’t help us: religious groups, doctors, hospitals, associations... Nevertheless, many of us received unexpected support from other immigrant people (mostly women), who would help us without asking questions… Thanks! to all of them for their support.
 
Trafficking is an awful and hurting experience, but every one of us has struggled to bury that experience in the past and to look for a better present and future. That is why we have been reflecting a lot about our strengths and our courage. We have, for example, reflected about the coping strategies we have used to face, to deal, to overcome trafficking and rebuild our lives.
 
Outcome:
  • To value what we are and what we have accomplished. To empower ourselves.
 
  •  We won’t speak about these strategies that have proven useful because we think this information may be used to hurt other women who are suffering trafficking right now. The important thing has been to value our efforts to move forward.
 
  1. Activities to make us visible:
 
We looked for national and international institutions, organizations, NGOs, that assist victims of trafficking or fight against human trafficking. Later we went out to meet these organizations, especially those that work with immigrant women. Then we try to contact them to express our agreement, gratitude, criticism and suggestions.
 
Outcome:
  • We have surfed on the Internet, looking for different information about trafficking. We observed many advertisements, videos, movies, stories, organizations and policies against trafficking in several countries.
 
  • We sent letters and e-mails, we prepared conference papers, we organized meetings and expositions, and made additional efforts to reach out.
 
  • It feels good to learn about the diversity of people and groups out there supporting women in one way or another. We feel we are not alone.
 
  1. ¿Why is trafficking so unknown?
 
Outcome:
  • We identified common misperceptions about trafficking that become an obstacle to detect slavery. They even become an obstacle for the immigrant people to identify whether they are being victims of trafficking.
  • We therefore also analyzed our own misperceptions before being trafficked: wrong ideas about trafficking, about trafficked women, and about immigrant women.