Survivors of human trafficking often suffer mental health consequences as a result of their experience(s), showing high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
As the increased quarantine protocols, lock-down measures and restrictions for covid-19 continue, many survivors may find that the added anxiety, isolation and stress result in triggers and mental health issues resurfacing that may have been previously manageable.
The lack of control and what is coming next can leave many on constant high alert.
According to psychotherapist, Haley Neidich, "When you remove even the possibility of leaving your home and interacting in person with other humans, the risk factors for worsening mental health issues are astounding ... humans are not meant to live in solitude long term and this lack of support and human connection is frequently traumatic."
The restrictions can be very challenging for survivors of any form of abuse or violence for a number of reasons:
• Wearing and seeing others wearing face masks can be difficult and triggering, especially if their mouth or face was covered by an abuser/trafficker
• Social distancing cuts people off from their "normal" connections with support systems and healthy coping routines
• Additional police and security measures can be triggering and heighten anxiety
• Feeling trapped, and a lack of control and choice can remind survivors of those same experiences connected to their trauma, and trigger old memories, emotions, impacts, and ways of coping
• Survivors that were controlled by people who may have claimed to care for them can be triggered by lock-downs and being ingrained with mistrust can make it harder to comply with restrictions
• Anxiety, depression, feelings of panic and such ... or other health impacts of trauma can become worse if you live alone
• People may not able to access their usual face-to-face support with a therapist, counselor or support group
➡️ Being connected to other people is a key way in which survivors regain a sense of safety in the world. So, if you’re struggling in any way through all of this, please know that you are not alone! There is support available.
𝗖𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗱𝗮 - https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/looking-for-local-resources-support/