For these women, debilitating depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, terrifying nightmares and unpredictable flashbacks are common. As mentors, vital leaders and counsellors to other women and girls, if these issues aren’t treated they can significantly reduce and in severe cases prevent their ability to provide important care and support to others.

The Center of the Protection for Child Rights found that many recovery programs for trafficked victims did not provide women with the vital skills and much needed ongoing support to provide sustainable, genuine care to other victims.

Without ongoing training and support, workers were unable to provide effective support to others which prevented many women and girls living in unsafe shelters from fully recovering and rejoining their local communities. 1 To address the vital need for ongoing support and care for workers, Art to Healing have developed a pioneering, holistic approach to self-care, training and support that empowers workers with the confidence and skills they need to provide genuine care to other victims of sex slavery.• Educating women on different self-care techniques
• Encouraging and supporting personal reflection
• Helping workers to recognise their conscious and unconscious motivations for
helping others
• Encouraging team work and genuine support for one another 1
• Helping workers to recognise the demands of their work and establish vital
limits around what is enough and what is too much
• Working collaboratively with workers to create an authentic personal mission
statement and vision that is realistic, achievable, inspirational and motivating
• Ensuring that teams of care givers work excellently and are supported to feel
safe, secure and respected
• Educating about important ways of working to avoid fatigue, depression and too much stressThis approach enables women who were once victims of sex trafficking to provide the best possible care, compassion and support to other women and girls.

It also reduces the stress and debilitating anxiety workers face and helps them to stay on top of their own recovery, and most importantly out of the sex trade.

Through the training, I have learnt how to understand myself, my body, how to help myself and how to help other women too.

The most interesting thing for me in the training was expressing my feelings and emotions through pictures and imagery. The training has built up my capacity, and has also built up my confidence in myself and my abilities.

Similarly, I also received the opportunity to express my pain and grief. The training will help me to provide counseling to other women and trafficking survivors.

I was trafficked when I was 11 years old…when I was working as a manager for the {anti-trafficking} shelter home, I was still experiencing many nightmares and flashbacks, which were very scary…after participating in Art to Healing programs, my nightmares subsided and disappeared, and I am more relaxed in my life. – Pooja Mohato, Art to Healing Participant.