Trusting Survivors

What is Justice for Survivors of Human Trafficking?

Plenary Session at the Women and Gender Studies Consortium “Centering Resistance: Imaginings of a New Feminist Future” Spring 2022

Survivors’ perceptions of justice for themselves often do not endorse traditional forms of retributive justice. Instead, survivors may seek the ability to move on from the trafficking experience to find autonomy and achieve self-defined goals. 4W STREETS prioritizes survivor voices in our efforts to confront human trafficking. In 2022, we hosted a compelling panel at the Women’s & Gender Studies Consortium (WGSC) Spring Conference with three leading survivor advocates representing different communities of women who have overcome injustice related to sex trafficking. We will hear what justice means for Nigerian women in Spain and the European Union, Native American women in the United States and Canada as well as women trafficked in their own communities in Wisconsin.

Books by Survivor Authors

Carnival Lights book cover.

Carnival Lights

By Chris Stark

Blending fiction and fact, Carnival Lights ranges from reverie to nightmare and back again in a lyrical yet unflinching story of an Ojibwe family’s struggle to hold onto their land, their culture, and each other. Carnival Lights is a timely book for a country in need of deep healing. Stark delves into the dilemma of missing and murdered indigenous women, sexual assault and trafficking, the history of native people in this country since colonization, and more in this deep, heartbreaking, and insightful work. 

Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) 2022 — Winner in Fiction

Order Carnival Lights.

Other Books by Chris Stark: Nickels: a tale of dissociation (Reflections of America), Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography, Deadly She Wolf & Momma’s Song Paperback

Learn more about Chris Stark. 

From One Survivor to Another book cover.

From One Survivor to Another –

A Personal Memoir and Call to Action Regarding Preventing and Healing From Sex Trafficking

By Jasmine Conway

Her true story, in her own words, is a cautionary tale of the adverse effects of sex trafficking but it is also a story about resilience, redirection, and reinvention. It is one survivor’s account of how unconditional love from her family and the support of allies helped a deeply troubled young woman evolve into a deliberately healing survivor leader.

Jasmine describes growing up in the urban, working-class communities of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and assesses the circumstances and vulnerabilities that led to her eventual exploitation in Las Vegas, Nevada amidst a backdrop of extravagance and affluence.

Order One Survivor to Another.

Learn more about Jasmine Conway.

Ten Plus One: A Decalogue of Scars

Decalogue of Scars book cover.

Ten Plus One: A Decalogue of Scars

By: Esperanza Jorge Barbuzano, Akhere Monday, Inmaculada Antolinez Dominguez

This book was created word by word and stitch by stitch with the firm intention of breaking the silence imposed by human trafficking. The story is narrated in the first person by Akhere Monday and commented by Esperanza Jorge. Akhere and Esperanza construct counter-narratives and bring the voices of other women into this narrative; voices of women who resist and contest the violence and degradation they experienced in their own bodies as they migrated from Nigeria trying to reach Europe. Behind the scenes of the book, there are many years of anthropological and educational research also joined by Inmaculada Antolinez. The ultimate purpose of this book is to bring all those women’s voices back to Nigeria, the homeland of Akhere, and alert her sisters so that the story stops repeating.


Related Topical Citation:

Chiara, G., Romaioli, D., & Contarello, A. (2022). Self-positions and narratives facilitating or hindering posttraumatic growth: A qualitative analysis with migrant women of Nigerian descent survivors of trafficking. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Advance online publication.

Highlighted Survivor Leaders

Shamere McKenzie named anti-human trafficking ambassador in Jamaica.

Shamere McKenzie

Survivor leader and STREETS affiliate Shamere McKenzie is the CEO of Sun Gate Foundation, which provides educational opportunities to survivors of trafficking.

In 2018, the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) named McKenzie as one of two Anti-Human Trafficking Ambassadors for Jamaica.

“It is such an honor to serve my country in this capacity. Over the years I have been making strides in the US to combat the issue of human trafficking but deep down I wanted to be involved in my birth country. I have laced up my boot strings, put on my boxing gloves, and am ready to join efforts with the NATFATIP and others in Jamaica fighting trafficking.” – Shamere McKenzie

Explore this blog Shamere wrote with the Polaris Project,  Listen to Black Survivors.


Quintina Sonnie.

Quintina Sonnie

Quintina Sonnie is a Lived Experience Expert in Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation. She founded the Conscious Choice Creation Method which is a signature mix of healing modalities that empower survivors to create choice in their lives where that has been stripped away.

Using Tarot, Breathwork, and Human Design, she creates a safe space for survivors to recognize what is holding them back and keeping them in patterns of survival. With their own breath and energy, they are able to take control back of their decision-making process. You can explore the Conscious Choice Creation Method at .

In Pursuit of Love book cover.

Rebecca Bender

An author, educator, consultant, speaker, podcaster, and overall social activist and leader in anti-human trafficking efforts.

In Pursuit of Love is her remarkable story of escape from human trafficking and her decision to go back to the darkest places she had known—assisting FBI, VICE, and law enforcement across the country in some of their most difficult cases—to help other women find freedom.

Explore Rebecca’s website to find many valuable resources: trainings, reports, documentaries, curricula, and books.