Rise, Unite, Support: Doing “No Harm” in the Anti-Trafficking Movement
Karen Countryman-Roswurm, LMSW, PhD
Founder and Executive Director, Center for Combating Human Trafficking and Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Wichita State University
Awareness regarding domestic sex trafficking has increased rapidly over the last decade. However, as general awareness increases so too does the interest of multidisciplinary professionals and concerned citizens who, while well intended, cause significant strain on the anti-trafficking movement. Drawing upon personal, professional, and academic research expertise in the areas of runaway, homeless, and street youth, as well as domestic sex trafficking, this article provides insight into the current struggles within the anti-trafficking movement. It serves as a cry for those who wish to join the anti-trafficking movement to create contexts in which survivor-leaders are recognized and treated as competent leaders and in which current efforts are intentionally supported. Furthermore, it serves as a call of encouragement for survivors to unite; to stand up for themselves as individuals and as a collective group, and to recognize and utilize the full potential of their malleability, strength, knowledge, and passion.