On Friday at the Restored Wings Home, one of our residents said to me as I walked by her in the living room, “I love it here.” I said, “Well, I am so glad to hear that.” The resident then said, “What you do is great and I’m thankful for all you do for us. I have my moments but I get over it and move on. I have peace and warmth here.” I smiled and gave her a hug and walked back into my office. These are the moments that make all of the difficult and challenging times worth it. This is our why.
One thing that made me feel so good about hearing her say that is because when she came to the Restored Wings Restored Wings Program, she was quiet and didn’t speak much because she felt angry over many things in her life. Our compassion, understanding, and patience with her have really shown its fruit as she is now smiling, laughing and most of all, showing love for others. When she came to our program, she was losing all of her teeth because they were rotting due to lack of dental care as well as the results of being a drug addict. She now has a full set of artificial teeth after having oral surgery and dental work and smiles all of the time. She has received all of her medical, dental, eye and mental therapy care while here in the Restored Wing Program.
One common factor that this particular resident, as well as the rest of the women in our program, is trauma they have suffered in their past. Trauma is defined as an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks or triggers, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea.
“Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.” – APA
Our program offers many free services to the women in our program such as; Drug and alcohol relapse prevention and counseling, trauma counseling, branding tattoo removal, legal services, medical and dental exams with prescriptions and treatment, community outreach and training the public.
Programs like Restored Wings’s Restored Wings, is designed just for women who have been labor and sex trafficked from anywhere in the United States. We receive referrals from many organizations and law enforcement in our state and all over the country.
Processing the psychological consequences of human trafficking requires long-term, comprehensive therapy. Mental health therapy is typically based on one or more theories of psychological treatment, the most prominent being behavioral, cognitive, and psychodynamic. Behavioral therapy focuses on increasing desired behaviors and decreasing problem behaviors through environmental manipulation. Cognitive therapy works to change behaviors and feelings by altering how patients comprehend and understand significant life experiences. Psychodynamic therapy explains behavior and personality as being motivated by inner forces, including past experiences, inherited instincts, and biological drives, and targets patients unconscious
Restored Wings understands that healing is a process and we provide as many tools as possible to help on this journey. Our staff recognizes that survivors of sex trafficking require additional techniques to build rapport with them and to reduce the mistrust that they commonly have about people. To best serve survivors, treatment approaches need to remain centered on survivors, empower them, provide safety and involve a multidisciplinary approach.
Our goal by the end of the program is to provide the tools necessary to empower survivors of human trafficking so that they will lead healthy, independent lives. We believe that we can do this with Jesus Christ as the foundation of this program and thank Him for getting us this far and believe that He will continue to provide all that we need to complete His purpose.
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