January being Human Trafficking Awareness Month, I thought I would advocate for the victims, who should be regarded with respect and compassion. Also, we should acknowledge that Human Trafficking is a complex phenomenon that involves a wide variety of people from many walks of life, participating in a wide variety of activities. Basically Human Trafficking occurs when any person is induced “to perform commercial sex or labor through force, fraud, or coercion.” People should realize that many participants in activities of a sexual nature (whether in a legal or illegal setting) are not doing so of their own free will or choice.
Marti MacGibbon is a human trafficking survivor speaker and expert on human trafficking, addiction recovery, and overcoming adversity. Marti delivered the closing keynote at Mentari Home Grand Opening in New York, New York in January. Mentari Human Trafficking Survivor Empowerment Program is a non-profit founded by human trafficking survivors Shandra Woworuntu and Ima Matul. The organization benefits survivors in the USA and in Indonesia. Mentari USA, based in NYC, provides support to survivors exiting trafficking, empowering them at every step of their recovery, including job training through their culinary academy.
Humorous inspirational speaker Marti MacGibbon delivered a stirring and informative keynote presentation at a conference organized by the CSE Institute of the Villanova School of Law in Philadelphia. Her session, entitled, The Intersection of Commercial Sexual Exploitation/Human Trafficking, Addiction, and Trauma, included the following learning objectives:
1. Learn to assess the connection between CSE/human trafficking, trauma, addiction, and stress
2. Understand the connection between CSE and the current opioid epidemic, and recognize how exploiters use addiction as a tool of coercion
Marti MacGibbon, CADC-II, was featured Speaker/Trainer on Human Trafficking 101 at the Dignity Health hospital staff retreat on April 27th in Rancho Cordova, CA. The training, developed by Dignity Health’s Director of Human Trafficking Response Program, Holly Gibbs. Marti is an empowered survivor and advocate and is an expert on human trafficking, trauma resolution, and addiction. Ms. MacGibbon has engaged in legislative advocacy for victims and survivors of human trafficking at the national level.
Humorous inspirational speaker and human trafficking survivor leader Marti MacGibbon delivered the closing keynote at the 10th Annual Human Trafficking Conference, “A Trauma-Informed Response to Human Trafficking Victims,” at California State University, Sacramento. The conference, attended by more than 530 participants, included survivors, law enforcement, attorneys, service providers, advocates and community members. The conference organizer, My Sister’s House, an organization dedicated to ending sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking in the Sacramento area.
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Human trafficking is a complicated and potentially overwhelming issue. It is not for the faint of heart. The global struggle can appear impossible to win. But it is not impossible to create positive change. I’ve seen this firsthand, as a survivor, advocate, clinician, and leader. As a survivor, I am often asked, “How did this terrible thing happen to you?” Here, in the first of two consecutive blog posts, I will recount my personal story of surviving trafficking and intimate partner violence, listing the vulnerabilities to my being trafficked.