Delegates with the organising committee and speakers at the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution (ICAP) Asia regional conference held at the Don Bosco Institute in Guwahati from October 10-14. (Morung Photo)
Morung Express News
Guwahati | October 16
Over 90 delegates from ten countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Hongkong, Philippines, Canada and India came together for a time of sharing and learning under the aegis of the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution (ICAP) at the Asia regional conference held at the Don Bosco Institute in Guwahati from October 10-14.
This year’s ICAP Asia Conference focused on trauma and trauma sensitive care, trauma recovery, vicarious trauma and an orientation to minimum standards of care.
Held under the theme ‘Stronger Together,’ the conference focused on the wisdom provided in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 highlighting “the importance of working with others in achieving stability and strength.”
Dr. Becca Johnson, International Program Director at Rescue Freedom International and a resource person at the Conference, explained how her mottos today are to “help the hurting heal” and to “help the helpers help.”
“Not all of those who work with the traumatized understand trauma,” she said.
Dr. Johnson discussed the strategy of understanding trauma care levels and how trauma sensitivity is different from trauma information. We need to begin teaching trauma sensitive care instead of just trauma informed care, she noted, which can help people engage their hearts not just their heads.
“My belief is that everyone can be part of a trauma recovery team… whether a professional or a lay volunteer, you can help victims of human trafficking on their path to recovery and restoration.”
Dr. Johnson, who has been a licensed psychologist for over 25 years, said that as practitioners advocating justice and freedom for the sexually exploited, “we need to use words that honor victims’ experience.”
It is important to “stop and reflect” on trauma-sensitive words to use in one’s country or culture and how these words are defined and translated.
It is imperative to understand a survivor’s emotions, their thinking processes. When this is understood, outreach becomes more effective. It breaks down barriers because those helping can understand by sharing common thoughts and feelings.
“To be trauma sensitive is also being culturally sensitive which leads to being more empathetic.”
Bringing leaders together
In her opening address, Rev. Lauran Bethell, Coordinator and Leadership Team Chair of ICAP, informed that the Alliance is “a movement for prevention, restoration and reintegration of lives in high risk of trafficking. It is a voluntary organisation.”
Rev. Bethell, a global consultant for human trafficking, informed that in 2004, she directed the first ICAP Global Conference, “bringing together the leaders of faith-based organizations from all over the world who are dedicated to meeting victims of prostitution and human trafficking with healing in Jesus’ name.”
To this effect, the issues discussed in this year’s conference were preventive initiatives, livelihood and social enterprise and collaboration and coalition building. Workshop on ‘minimum standards of care/aftercare survivor’s outcome’ was conducted by a team from International Justice Mission, Philippines.
During the morning devotions, Santi Keyho from Nagaland shared the word of God. Jonathan Nambu and Thelma Nambu, founders and current directors of Samaritana Transformation Ministries, Philippines also spoke during the devotionals. Throughout the conference, worship was led by a team from Sinai Ministry, Nagaland.
Miqlat Ministry under Nagaland Baptist Churches Council Women’s Department was also part of the organising committee.
The International Christian Alliance on Prostitution (ICAP) is a global alliance devoted to offering freedom and change to people involved in prostitution and those who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation. ICAP exists to unite, equip, and empower practitioners who compassionately challenge injustice and offer freedom to those being sexually exploited through prostitution including human trafficking.