Dear friends, I hope that this finds you safe and sound and surrounded by people you love this time of year. This year has definitely presented some interesting, challenging, and difficult times, but hopefully there were some joyful and peaceful times as well. Here is a brief summary of what Relentless has been doing over the last few months. The CheckPoint Newsletter for 1st & 2nd Quarter 2020 can be found here.
Staying put is challenging for all of us, but as someone whose work is 100% collaborative and involves a lot of travel, COVID19 caused Relentless’ work to come to a screeching halt. But not for long! Relentless is RELENTLESS, and I am finding ways to keep going!
You can always catch up on the videos on my YouTube channel. I also write a corresponding blog post with bonus links about the content of each webinar. For more about the series, please visit the webpage.
A few highlighted webinar topics include:
- The pandemic restrictions forced a lot of people in prostitution off the streets and into online prostitution. I hosted a guest to discuss her organization’s development of an online outreach program in order to continue offering services to the women. Please tune in to learn the basics of how to set up a similar outreach.
- In episode #8 I discussed conspiracy theories, sensationalism, and human trafficking – why this is such a problem for the counter-trafficking movement and what we can do to stop this nonsense
- I hosted a guest in episode #9 to discuss prostitution in Germany, how COVID19 has impacted the situation for the women there, and how her organization helps women exit at their own pace
- Episode #10 featured an interesting discussion about a sex-trafficking prevention curriculum in schools, how Loverboys manipulate the young women, and what we can do about it.
- Other topics include prevention, resilience, a strengths-based approach to interviewing, human trafficking prevention, and more.
INSTAGRAM! Please check out the Relentless Instagram and Facebook accounts that have received a huge boost from my part-time social media intern, Zascha! She’s done a great job with them – I hope you are following!
In July, the Asia Regional Anti-Trafficking Conference moved to an online platform, which was great because then I could still participate. I was also the facilitator for a panel discussion on online child sexual exploitation.
The International Christian Medical & Dental Association invited me to speak on “Health and Human Trafficking: The Roles of the Healthcare Professional” as a part of their ongoing webinar series.
Locally, I’ve been holding a monthly education session with social workers about trauma and trauma-informed care. One afternoon a week I volunteer at a drop-in center for prostituted women and I’ll now be a co-leader of this shift. It’s always good to have opportunities to be “on the ground” with the prostituted women – I learn so much from them. For more on the situation of prostitution in Germany and how the pandemic and subsequent restrictions have impacted the women’s situation here please see my webinar and this blog post.
I’m looking forward to what’s coming up next year. Not just because I want to leave 2020 behind, but because 2020 offered new challenges and opportunities that we’ll carry forward into 2021. Relentless will be working even more collaboratively on a local and global scale to move the counter-trafficking movement forward. Furthermore, conversations regarding in-person workshops have resumed, albeit tentatively, for work in Greece, Luxembourg, and other European countries that had cancelled/postponed their trainings. There is a lot that can be done over zoom, but it will never replace in-person training workshops. I’m grateful for the technology that provides opportunities to continue to provide educational materials and do trainings. It takes a lot of creativity to do it well and I’m still learning. However, I do long for the days to connect in person and look forward to more in the future.
Thank you very much to all of you for your faithful support, your generous giving, and your determined interest and advocacy! I wish all of you a warm winter, or a happy summer, wherever you are. Please stay safe and take care! These times remind us all of how much we truly need each other!