Every Humans Right, Every Hearts Desire.
A young girl, Raksmey*, joined our care just two short months ago. Her mother is abusive, and sadly, threatened to sell her into trafficking in Thailand. Phone calls with her family can become abusive, leaving her feeling unsafe and hurt. Our team has also observed a great lack of safety within her home, as signs of domestic violence have been present at home visits. As a result, and understandably so, her heart is in great conflict juggling knowing what her family did was wrong, yet loving them and desiring to be close to them. This is an interesting yet common situation for our social workers to find themselves within – navigating how to best honor a child’s heart and desire to be near their family, yet making their safety the highest priority at any cost.
Addressing safety looks different in every situation and our social workers work closely with families to address all areas of safety. This may look like helping families to build or repair homes, building a well closer to their home, or building the family a bathroom reducing the need for girls to walk long distances alone to gather water or bath. Social workers may also work with families to reduce and resolve issues of domestic violence in the home, and mediate vulnerabilities such as lack of supervision by organizing and helping finance safe, vetted caregivers to be present in order to look after children.
Prior to reintegration home our team addresses girls’ need for safety in a variety of ways – our counselors work with each girl to establish a safety within themselves, giving them the tools needed to work through complex and overwhelming emotions and providing them with a safe place to do so. In trauma treatment it’s common to think of healing in 3 phases: safety and stabilization, remembrance and mourning, and reconnection and integration. These phases are guides that help counselors and clients work through the trauma and heal, and every survivor will require varying amounts of time in order to navigate these phases in their own way and time.
Through our many years we’ve found this approach to safety to not only be transformative to the survivor, but deeply transformative to families and communities at large as reconciliation and trust are reestablished. Taking safety seriously and giving it great focus is not only paramount for the survivor, it is paramount for generations to come as cycles of destruction are interrupted and rerouted towards healing for all. We’ve seen incredible success stories time and time again as simple safety measures are met, and above all, we’ve seen individuals understand and learn their worth enabling them to rise from a place of victimization to great victory.
Safety matters – for girls, families, and generations to come – it matters!