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By Alexandria Ratliff and McKenzie Knaub

The human trafficking clinic provides an amazing opportunity for students to get hands-on experience and exposure to working with clients while making a difference in the lives of victims and learning more about a topic the students are passionate about. The clinic has been an incredible professional development resource. The clinic hosted speakers from the community who have experience working with survivors of all kinds of trauma and grief. Survivors may often experience intense emotions and anxiety or get lost in their own thoughts. We learned of a therapy technique called grounding, which uses the five senses to help anchor a person to the present moment. Professor Kelsey shared that she often keeps citrus-scented essential oils on her to help with this. Pleasant textures, lighting, pets and emotional support animals, and impromptu walks outside can also be effective grounding tools. Everyone experiences trauma a bit differently, so staying flexible and responding to a particular individual’s needs and triggers is key.

Lady Justice, from Pinterest

The clinic also taught us the importance of telling a client what to expect going forward (road mapping). Notifying clients of the kinds of questions to expect at an intake appointment or telling them how long they should expect to wait before their case is able to move forward. This technique is helpful not only for survivors of trauma but is a generally beneficial practice for all clients. Implementing this technique takes practice, but it is a wonderful habit to develop. Seeing how these simple techniques and making an intentional effort to be considerate can make such a difference has been an amazing aspect of the clinic.

This clinic has been an amazing experience for me (McKenzie). Working in the combatting human trafficking field has been a passion of mine for a few years, and this clinic has given me a better idea of what I can do with my legal career to benefit survivors. Survivors have many barriers that keep them from being able to resume a normal life post-trafficking. One of my research projects was helping with credit relief for victims under a federal regulation passed. During that project, I removed bad credit, which resulted from being trafficked, from a client’s credit record. I plan on working in this field in my future career, even if it only involves pro bono representation/services for survivors. This clinic has provided me with a strong background to succeed in this field.

This post was written by two students with the Center for Global Justice Human Trafficking Clinic. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.

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