July 30 is the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. FCJ Sisters and Companions in Mission around the world minister in this area and we have asked them for their contributions to mark this day. The following article is by Maureen, a CiM from England.
My name is Maureen and I am an FCJ Companion in Mission, from the South East, London Group. I work as a volunteer counsellor for Still Waters, a Christian Counselling Centre in the South of England. Still Waters, as part of their charity ethos, provides a free counselling service to the Medaille Trust Safe House, along with support provision in the local community. There are several counsellors working at the safe house who provide counselling. This sometimes includes working through interpreters.
The majority of the work involves 1:1 counselling, and due to the language difficulties sometimes this can be through creative arts work. At times there has been group therapy work and also working with the children of those at the safe house. During the current COVID19 Pandemic work has been undertaken via Zoom or telephone. The work involves working with the clients, victims of trafficking and slavery, through their past traumas and their current anxieties.
Counsellors also prepare them for the next stage, when they have to move on, not knowing what is going to happen to them in the future is difficult for these women. Moving on can involve a further loss for the girls, after having made many new friendships whilst at the safe house, they then feel a sense of further loss and fear for the future. Counsellors work to give the girls strategies to use that they can take with them.