Episode 13 - Survivor Leadership
Survivors of abuse, exploitation and human trafficking are beginning to find their voices as public speakers, authors, advocates and experts in the field. An emerging role with increasing benefits to healing and survival is that of the survivor leader. Historically, survivors of other tragic experiences have often made the best teachers and also the most effective healers, so it stands to reason that the model of survivor as coach, counselor, educator or advocate is a valuable approach for the healing of victims of human trafficking and many other forms of abuse. To explore this topic we talk with two survivor leaders – Rebecca Bender and Christine Cesa - who are actively working with victims, law enforcement, government agencies and more.
Rebecca Bender is the founder and CEO of the Rebecca Bender Initiative. She is an award-winning, nationally recognized expert on human trafficking who escaped nearly six years of modern-day slavery evolving into an author, speaker, trainer and leader in human trafficking. Christine Cesa is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary with a Masters in Intercultural Studies with Children at Risk who serves as survivor advocate with CAST LA and Dignity Health responding to victims of violence and providing emergency services to survivors of human trafficking in the healthcare system. A survivor of commercial sexual exploitation of children, specifically familial trafficking, Christine is a survivor leader whose work includes training, curriculum development and partnering with anti-trafficking organizations in Los Angeles. Content warnings for this episode include sexual abuse