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  • Uncaged

Point of View: A Day in the Life of a Survivor at The Sanctuary

In the last post, you shared in the journey of a survivor to The Sanctuary. She went from the unimaginable to a new beginning at a safe place.

She’s safe from her trafficker. She isn’t forced to serve multiple clients a day. The threat of violence is gone. What now?

When a human trafficking survivor arrives at The Sanctuary, she has usually been to the hospital first. After getting appropriate testing and medical care, she is physically safe. She has a room of her own, nutritious food to help her body heal, and a caring staff devoted to her healing. The transition from where she was to this place of peace can be overwhelming!

The first eight to twelve weeks is a period of stabilization. She is introduced to the Uncaged staff and the space. She has to get used to the structure of waking up at the same time as everyone else, sharing meals with others, and attending devotions.

In this time, she is free to hang out with other survivors and staff but this is not necessary. She might need time alone outdoors. She might engage with the animals. We will slowly begin to introduce therapeutic interventions to calm her traumatized nervous system.

Once she gets acclimated to the new environment, she will get involved in a

structured program to help her move toward healing her mind and heart. The program champions and integrates the best practices in human trafficking aftercare carried out by trauma-informed staff, therapists, and caregivers. The survivor will engage in a morning routine of breakfast, a small devotional time, and a mindfulness check-in. This bodywork and breathing time will help her connect her body and emotions for the day ahead.

She will have time for daily tasks like laundry and cleaning up and learn important life skills. She will be involved in different tailored therapeutic interventions every day including life maps, sand tray therapy, art and equine therapy, ropes courses, process groups, and psycho-educational classes. She has plenty of time for fun with a walk outdoors, time for breaks, games, and activities with others like games, movies, and music.

There isn’t a “typical” day because every survivor is different and we make sure to stay tuned into her particular needs. But structure and consistency are essential, too. And we are committed to walking with her day in and day out on her journey and to seeing her reintegrate into the community and thrive!

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