On Friday, January 27, TRE Los Angeles President Nkem Ndefo spoke on a panel at the Human Trafficking Portals Summit hosted by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. This event brought together community leaders across a variety of sectors to envision how LA can better prevent human trafficking and serve trafficking survivors.
Speaking on the Service Gap Closure Break-Out Panel, Nkem advocated that service providers implement trauma-informed perspectives and practices within their organizations. The professionals who serve the victims of human trafficking often suffer vicarious trauma, causing high levels of stress and burnout. By introducing trauma-informed modalities such as TRE into the fabric of the workplace, organizations can mitigate the effects of working with traumatized populations and create a more stable foundation upon which to ground the very important and necessary work they do right here in Los Angeles.
See some of Nkem’s comments to the panel below.
I see one of the largest service gaps is created by the confusion between what is a trauma-informed perspective and what is trauma-informed practice. We can all agree trafficking survivors need trauma-informed practices, but what about a trauma-informed perspective? SAMHSA provides guidance by defining six principles of this perspective: safety; trustworthiness and transparency; peer support; collaboration and mutuality; empowerment, voice, and choice; and engaging cultural, historical, and gender issues. These principles are to be implemented across 10 domains. We see them in screening, assessment, and treatment services – that trauma-informed practice. But we don’t see them in the DNA of our service organizations, in governance and leadership, policy, evaluation, and especially in training and workforce development. This leaves providers increasingly vulnerable to compassion stress and leaves organizations increasingly vulnerable to organizational trauma, dysfunction, and inefficiency. If we can’t anchor ourselves and our organizations in a sustainable way, how can we serve trafficking survivors adequately.
– Nkem Ndefo, President TRE Los Angeles, LLC