What a week it has been! Many tests and tough decisions to make quickly. They are even great opportunities.
One of those opportunities was that we had received a phone call from a national news station in New York about doing a story on Rejuvenating Women on one of their shows.
Sounds great, right! What an opportunity, right! Crazy to pass this up, right! Wait! No, not so much. They asked to interview a human trafficking survivor on camera in our program and in turn, talk about the work Rejuvenating Women is doing. We then asked the purpose of the story, why did they want to interview a survivor and how did they ever hear of Rejuvenating Women. She answered in a lengthy way. We then explained to her that Rejuvenating Women does not re-exploit individuals who have been trafficked. We do not believe in exposing them, their faces or identifying features even on social media if it helps to raise money. We believe in confidentiality and practicing their privacy in the most respectful way possible.
We have learned this the hard way and by making mistakes early on. We do understand why women need to tell their stories and how truly healing it can be – but there is a time and a place for this.
We also understand why the media wants to talk with survivors of this horrific crime. We understand why the the media is wanting to use a story to educate and make the public aware and we agree with that. We understand that but if it is for sensationalism, shock value or to boost ratings, then it is dead wrong to even ask to interview someone whose been so viciously abused. It hurts the individual in so many ways and causes harm. The women we serve are human beings who just want a normal life.
When a woman graduates from the Restored Wings Program, it is solely up to her whether she tells her story and whether she is even ready to tell it. If they are not ready, they should never be asked or pressured to tell their stories. There are programs and even survivor trainings available to anyone wanting to learn when and how to tell their story the right way.
We are passionate about the community we live in putting the one that was victimized as a priority and having their best interest in mind without implementing their own agendas.