Where do victims come from? Our clients come from right here in Jacksonville and are referred to us by local agencies including law enforcement and strategic partnerships within the judicial system. However, we do get referrals from our survivor network and from community members. Victims are often abused children, orphans/no parents/from foster care system, and have a history of substance abuse, no support system or family to depend upon for help and safety, and have limited education and job skills. They have been trapped in cycles of abuse for so long it seems normal. Her Song’s programming addresses these issues.
We value and practice trauma-informed care and have a team of healing survivors who inform our practices as well. We are strength-based, client centered and collaborative in our work.
We are in the process of implementing three phases of residential care. Our model is:
Phase 1: Rest. Being enslaved and sold 15-40 times per day is devastating to human life. This phase provides for immediate shelter and a short period of time for women to rest, to reset their bodies and minds, and consider next steps. Change is not easy and she has to be ready to engage in a dynamic process. During this phase, we provide group support and many individual conversations about the future and begin to create a plan for next steps.
Phase 2: Intensive Healing. This is a longer period of time (up to one year) that allows survivors time and space to heal from trauma. People do not quickly heal from repeated complex traumas and it can be difficult for survivors who’ve been abused as children to address so many life challenges in a short-term way. This phase engages women in healing body, mind and spirit through therapy, art therapy, a safe community and place to belong, built in life skills training, and intentional planning for her future by completing or expanding on education. We teach women how to live in healthy ways. Upon completion of this program, women have the opportunity to progress to the transformation phase.
Phase 3: Transform. Here women begin to work and independently exercise the life skills they have learned. Our safe homes have Healthy Living Plans built in for each lady. Women also begin to take financial responsibility for themselves and their future. She still has a safe community of people around her to help her continue moving forward on the pathway.