Shocked – I was shocked to learn the extensive terminology and complex social structures that exist within trafficking (specifically sexual exploitation). What most surprised me was the familial structure of trafficking units and how these enforce very specific power dynamics. The pimp is the ‘daddy’, the female right hand is the ‘bottom bitch’ and the rest of the girls are ‘wifeys’, ‘sister wives’ and ‘wives-in-law’.
Disheartened – We have heard awful stories.
Sensitive – Our conversations and meetings have put a magnifying glass up to many societal issues that exist both in and out of the realm of trafficking. It’s not lost on us that we don’t live in separate worlds, and so tracing our own unwitting complicity is part of this heightened sensitivity. I am starting to notice how discrimination permeates every inch of our lives and our culture.
Tired – I’m both emotionally and physically drained. Since we have so much to cover in one week, each day is filled with activities so it’s easy to get worn out especially given the fact that we will get to rest and recover, but those sharing their stories may not.
Supported – Our group has really grown in the past couple days and part of that was out of necessity. Each day seems to get more intense and more overwhelming, to the point where it is hard not to lose faith in humanity or a good fraction of it. But we have each other’s backs. I feel supported and much closer to everyone present.