Survivor Voices

The Importance of Survivor Voices

The impact of listening to and learning from human trafficking survivors is unmatched. Their voices, their resilience, their wisdom should guide all law, policy and practice. Whether you are new to anti-trafficking work or a seasoned veteran in the field, take some time to hear from the true heroes and founders of this movement.

Voices of Freedom

Voices of Freedom demonstrates the power of conversation and storytelling, showing how oral history is crucial to public service and public record keeping. The archive shares reflections from a diverse range of lived experiences, contributes to the democratization of historical records, and emphasizes the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the development of anti-human trafficking programs and initiatives.

Survivors Who Thrive: A Fireside Chat

On October 20, 2021, Dr. Roza Pati, Founding Director of The John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy, facilitated an insightful discussion with a foremost survivor leader – The Honorable Robert R. Lung. Through the recount of Judge Lung, this conversation explores the factors that contribute to the empowerment of survivors of human trafficking, and the path that they follow to thrive and become leaders in our global community.

Learn more about the Survivors Who Thrive

How We Elevate and Include Survivor Voices at STAC

At STAC we strive to be survivor-centered. Each month we partner with survivors of trafficking to elevate their voices through our in-person and virtual trainings (hyperlink to training page). We also utilize survivors as consultants to ensure our work is survivor-informed and trauma-competent.

Warning: This video contains information and depiction of events that include child abuse, child sexual abuse and violence. The voices of survivors are essential to our understanding human trafficking. How do we advocate with and for survivors? What are the immediate and long-term impacts of child sex trafficking and all forms of trafficking? What should we know about survivors’ lives that will help us understand and prevent human trafficking in our communities? What is the impact of trauma? How can we as professionals in healthcare, child welfare, businesses and the hospitality industry, social services, law enforcement, the courts, educators, faith community, family members and parents, and as neighbors understand the range and the reach of traffickers? Please watch for answers to these and other questions from AmyLynn Harrington-Smoot, advocate and survivor of sex trafficking and Graciela Marquina, STAC Victim Assistance Coordinator who has supported survivors for over two decades.

Resources for Including Survivors Voices

Including survivor voices doesn’t always mean asking survivors to tell their stories. There are many ways to include survivor voice in your organization, from board membership, employment, consultation, and sharing survivor-created materials. Check out these resources to learn more!”

Building Financial Independence FAST 1

The FAST initiative is focused on mobilizing the world of finance to help end human trafficking. Part of their work is to give support to human trafficking survivors so they can heal and build an economically secure future. FAST Survivor Inclusion Initiative has developed a financial literacy guide outlining important banking basics, such as how to use checking and savings accounts and the simple steps that can be taken to protect financial information.

SURVIVORS OF SLAVERY (SOS) is a non-profit organization that supports survivors of modern slavery who want to lend their voice to the 21st century abolitionist movement. Community groups, schools and universities, and communities of worship who wish to learn more about this issue and want to hear the first-person experiences of people who have suffered and survived modern slavery. Visit the SOS website.

The National Survivor Network (NSN) brings together a community of survivors of human trafficking by creating a platform for survivor-led advocacy, peer-to-peer mentorship, and empowerment that embraces all survivors, regardless of gender, age, nationality or type of trafficking experience. Visit the NSN website

story corps

Listen and learn! Hearing from survivors is so important. This project highlights survivors from the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Native Hawaiians and other nations. People don’t always think about the many and varied experiences of the AAPI community, particularly in North Florida. Remember that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are our neighbors, friends, and so important to our communities. We also know they are victims of human trafficking because of vulnerabilities they experience.

This Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we are pleased to highlight the following conversations.
Benjamin Adriano and Katherine Chon
Benjamin is interviewed by his colleague Katherine about his work in the Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, his experiences as a survivor of labor trafficking, and his plans for his career.
Gina Agulto and Kevin Koliner
Gina talks with her friend and the attorney in her case Kevin about her experience being recruited from the Philippines to the United States. Gina talks about how the new opportunity in hospitality was presented to her and compares it to the reality of the exploitation she and her colleagues faced before she was able to get help.
Harold D’Souza and Katherine Chon
Katherine interviews her friend Harold on his past experiences as a survivor of human trafficking to now being an outspoken advisor on the subject.
Daughters Kimberly and Allison discuss with their mother Jocelyn the topic of human trafficking and how their family history as Asian/Native Hawaiians overlap with this issue.
Paul is interviewed by his colleague Lauren about his childhood and moving from China to the United States, starting his career in the Department of Labor, and some of the cases he has worked on throughout his career.
Shandra talks with her friend and mentor Katie about her decision to find work in the US so she could escape the violence in her home country of Indonesia. Shandra talks about how her new job prospect was, in reality, a front for a sex trafficking operation and recalls how she escaped, got help, and has become an advocate for other survivors.
Participate in the Voices of Freedom Initiative
We want to hear from you. Your story, the moments that shaped who you are and how you show up to do this work, the lessons you’ve learned along the way, your hopes for the future… are details only you can share.
Interested? You have until mid-July to make it happen. Check out the OTIP website for resources to help you get started.
If you need technical support with the StoryCorps Connect platform, please email For other questions or requests, please email
We look forward to hearing your story!
More Survivor Voices Stories