A Sister of the Good Shepherd is called to approach each person as Jesus the Good Shepherd does – with compassion and acknowledging their worth and dignity. Historically, our charism has focused on disenfranchised girls and women. Today, human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar global industry in which people are sold for profit. Such practice disregards the worth and dignity of a person.
I feel compelled to stand with survivors of human trafficking. As a counselor, I provide them safety and empowerment opportunities. In a relationship based on transparency and mutuality with space for self-determination, women survivors begin to restore themselves.
As I stand with survivors of human trafficking, I feel humbled and honored. They show me their resiliency, uniqueness, kindness, strength, sense of humor, courage, and compassion. Before meeting with a woman, I hear: “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground” (Ex. 3:5). Yes! Every encounter is holy ground, where the cross and resurrection, pain and joy meet. So, I choose to stand barefoot in holy ground with survivors of human trafficking.
Written by Sister Claudia Palacio, Sisters of the Good Shepherd.