top of page

Rebuilding the Bridge: Helping Survivors Heal Through Relationship

As I have embarked on my healing journey, I noticed a pattern that seemed to be

a consistent marker that would throw roadblocks in my way. I felt a sense of

loneliness each time I revisited the memory that pained me. One of the things

that I can remember as a young child was my parents relentlessly fighting. I

cannot recall any time where either parent made the effort to check on or

reassure me when our family structure was crumbling under the weight of my

parent’s unhealed traumas. As those traumas were played out, they did not seem

to have the capacity to nurture because of being stuck in survival mode

themselves. With that, my formative years are where I first experienced a

breaking of the interpersonal bridge within my family unit.

In an interview explaining trauma, Bessel van der Kolk (author of The Body

Keeps the Score) stated that: “One of the largest mitigating factors against getting

traumatized is who is there for you at that particular time.” This statement is

indicative of our inherent need for relationships as we navigate the deeply painful

parts of our lives. When trauma is experienced as a result of neglect, mental,

emotional, sexual, or physical abuse, a bond is broken down in the existing

relationship. Every survivor of human trafficking that I have encountered has

endured every form of abuse listed. Many times those abuses have been

perpetrated by those closest to them and by more than one person. Imagine what

their experience with interpersonal relationships has looked like for them; a trail

of broken bonds over the course of their lives.

So what is the antidote that will counteract these broken bonds? Healthy and

healing relationships with others. What does this practically look like?

Spirit Led, Trauma-Informed Care: Providing Holy Spirit led

  • Trauma-Informed Care for survivors is an aspect of care for survivors that recognizes the impact of trauma on survivors' lives and relationships is essential. Trauma-informed care is not healing in a vacuum, this approach does place an emphasis on safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment, which are all good. All of these aspects can be implemented, but without the Holy Spirit leading, it is easy to check the proverbial boxes and miss what and where God is wanting to lead in the healing process.


bottom of page