Lisa Rowe, CEO of Support After Abortion and Meiko Taylor, founder of The Power Project, discuss the importance of compassion and training when helping to heal those impacted by abortion and sex trafficking.
Meiko Taylor’s path to working with adolescents was inspired by her personal experience as a foster child. When she moved to Los Angeles, she began working with children in the foster care system, and it was here she first learned about sex trafficking from a client. Inspired to go further, and understand more, Meiko made a film that became a powerful tool for training and led to the founding of The Power Project. The Power Project works to prevent sex trafficking by healing the wounds of those impacted by trafficking and training people within communities on warning signs to look out for.
The Similarities between those Impacted by Abortion and by Sex Trafficking
Sex Trafficking, like Abortion, is a symptom of a deeper issue. There are many roots that can lead to an abortion, and one that is common to both abortion and sex trafficking is a lack of identity that comes from a low self worth. Meiko reports that sex traffickers will groom and manipulate adolescents who are lacking love, friendship and companionship. They feed on those with low self-esteem, and a low sense of value. Perhaps the child has been kicked out of their home, the trafficker sees this as an opportunity to make them feel safe and loved.
If men and women grow up never knowing who they are, and the value they have, they can look for love and validation in relationships. Trying to find validation in others, can leave people feeling more empty with lower self esteem, and having a low self-worth can increases ones vulnerability.
Healing these Roots with Compassion and Training
Lisa and Meiko agree that there are two focuses they each have when working with and healing those impacted by abortion and sex trafficking. The first focus is training. The Power Project offers trainings to social workers, school administrators, teachers, parents, etc about what sex trafficking is and how to prevent it within our homes and schools. Support After Abortion also utilizes training to help teach those who want to help others in their abortion healing process. Through video training and virtual groups, pregnancy centers, social workers, pastors, etc can learn how to compassionately start the conversation of abortion and how to prevent repeat abortions from happening, by healing the deeper wounds people have.
The second focus is making sure we are not treating the behavior only. Both Lisa and Meiko stress the importance of looking at a behavior for what it is, it is a product of dysfunction. If we meet people where they are and look at the human being as a product of something painful, we could heal the deeper wounds that exist and prevent tragedies like abortion and sex trafficking. Lisa states, “no man wakes up at 15 years old and says I can’t wait to get my girlfriend pregnant and have an abortion”, and the same can be said for women, they do not wake up and think “I can’t wait to have an abortion.” People need to dig deeper, and even if you have not been impacted by abortion or sex trafficking, Lisa encourages everyone to look at themselves and see how they have struggled with lack of identity or purpose. It is a common emotion, experienced on many different levels that will allow those working with others to meet them with compassion, and treat more than a behavior, but really heal the wounds that people carry.
For more information on The Power Project visit their website at www.thepowerproject.net. April is Abortion Recovery Month. If you or someone you know has been impacted by abortion, you are not alone. For information on ways to get involved please visit our website at https://supportafterabortion.com. For information on virtual groups or for immediate assistance please call our Hopeline, at 844-289-HOPE (4673).