HEAL: ethno-psychology and art therapy for the integration of women survivors of trafficking
Data from the research of the European Commission illustrates that there are more than 20,000 victims of trafficking in Europe, 68% of whom are women and young girls destined to be exploited sexually. Forced to sell their bodies or exploited for labor in shameful conditions, victims of trafficking find hardly a way out of the circuits of exploitation. The psychological violence they suffer limits the enjoyment of full freedom and increases the risk of “re-victimization”. Those risks are even higher in the absence of a solid network of associations and interventions aiming to support women in their intergration pathways.
That said, the beginning of a new life for them inevitably coincides with the discovery of the lost peace, as well as a dignified work that guarantees the autonomy.
The focus of HEAL – enHancing recovery and integrAtion through networking, empLoyment training and psychological support for women victims of trafficking, co-financed by AMIF programme of the EC and coordinated by CESIE, focuses on the recovery and integration of women victims of trafficking through the involvement of support services and potential employers, the acquisition of new professional skills and the offer of psychological support. For the psychological support, the ethno-psychological approach together with art therapy is the core for the assistance and recovery of the victims. In this sense, the socio-cultural factors, relevant to the community of each victim, will be taken into the consideration to further support the recovery and inclusion process of such vulnerable subjects.
Specifically, the project aims to:
- Encourage the inclusion processes for women,
- Promote the development of collaboration networks between actors working with victims and survivors of trafficking,
- Promote the psychological recovery of victims and acquisition of professional skills,
- Make the victims aware of their rights and the services they can access.
These main points were better defined during the Kick-off meeting organized and coordinated by CESIE on 23 and 24 October 2019 in Palermo. On this occasion, together with the project partners, KMOP (Greece), Fundació Surt (Spain), PATRIR (Romania) e LIBERA (Italy) we defined the guidelines along which the specific activities of the project will be developed.
During the two years of the project (01.10.2019 – 30.09.2021), we are committed to implement:
- activities aimed at identifying the needs of women victims/ survivors of trafficking, as well as the specificities of the services that offer them support and the demands of potential employers,
- round tables and meetings for the establishment of a solid network of support services,
- recovery and social inclusion programmes through the use of visual art tools (Fanzines),
- awareness raising events and meetings, including the exhibition of the works created by women survivors.
Quoting Primo Levi, “It easily happens to those who have lost everything, to lose themselves”. The HEAL project intends to support women in finding themselves again.