WELCOME TO OUR BLOG

Our blog features the story of one of the participants here at SafeHope Home who wanted to share her story with you. The story will be anonymous to protect her identity, all the other details of her journey will be left as is. We hope that through this blog, you will gain insight into the issue of human trafficking that is happening here in Canada and that you’ll be encouraged to see that change, though a long journey, is possible.

Positive Changes

Positive Changes

Hi there, I've kind of had a lot going on, I thought it might be a good idea to give some updates on my life and how I'm feeling about all the changes happening around me. I have lived at SafeHope Home for a little over a year and it has really felt like home. This is...

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Christmas at SafeHope Home

Christmas at SafeHope Home

This is my second Christmas here at SafeHope Home over the last week; We watched Christmas movies, had a pyjama day, and made some really cool crafts. Before I came to SafeHope Home I hadn't had the opportunity to celebrate the holidays in a really long time, instead...

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Mental Health Update

Mental Health Update

 In my last blog post, I spoke about the issues that I’ve been having with my mental health. This week, I thought I would speak about what I’ve been doing to cope and pull myself out of this negative headspace. One thing that has been really helpful is...

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My Mental Health

My Mental Health

Recently, I’ve been going through a bit of a tough time with my mental health. I've been finding it easy to fall back into old habits and negative thinking patterns. Even though I have been struggling, I’m at a point in my recovery where I am improving on asking for...

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Getting too Comfortable

Getting too Comfortable

I personally find it very easy to get too comfortable in recovery, I thought I would explain what that looks like. When I find myself getting too comfortable I begin to stop attending my recovery groups, stop leaning on my supports as much, and overall just kind of...

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Graduation Week

Graduation Week

  This week, at SafeHope Home, we are celebrating a fellow participant as well as my own Graduation from the stage one programming offered here at the house. This journey has definitely been long but I am so grateful to have done it. I am honoured to be...

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Safe People

Safe People

Sometimes, trying to gauge who safe people are in your life can become really difficult. In this week’s blog, I want to explain how my journey through this process has been and share the things that I’ve learned along the way. I feel that when considering who in your...

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Back to School

Back to School

  Back to school season is a very exciting and exhausting time. Add Covid into the mix, and I’m assuming that everyone is having a little difficulty adjusting. I thought I would use this week’s blog post to speak about my school experience and how being...

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Anxiety About the Future 

Anxiety About the Future 

  Recently, I've been having a lot of anxiety when thinking about the new chapter that I’m about to embark on. I thought that I would explain to you what I've been feeling and what I think is behind these anxieties. Over the past few years, I've become accustomed to...

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Long Term effects of Sexual Abuse

Long Term effects of Sexual Abuse

 In this week’s blog, I’m going to be focusing on the long term effects that prolonged sexual abuse has had on me. I want to put a warning out there as this blog post could be distressing to read. This blog post is about me and my experiences, so I also want to...

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Learning How to Function In Society

Learning How to Function In Society

 In recent weeks I've been talking to staff a lot about transitioning from SafeHope Home back into regular everyday life. Although I still have a couple of months left here in the home, I want to be as prepared as I possibly can. One thing that often comes up is being...

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Dealing with High-Stress Situations

Dealing with High-Stress Situations

 When I first came into recovery, dealing with high-stress situations was a little messy, to say the least. Even now, when I find myself feeling like I can't control a situation, I tend to automatically go into panic mode. I'm so thankful for the staff here at...

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Celebration

Celebration

  This week is celebration week at SafeHope Home and I thought that it would be a good idea to explain to the readers what that looks like. Celebration week always creates a sense of excitement in the house. On celebration day, staff and participants get together to...

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The Road To Recovery

The Road To Recovery

  In this week's blog post I thought I would speak about the ups and downs of recovery. This is a loaded subject that I could probably speak about for hours but don't worry, I’m not gonna subject you to that. Throughout this post, I plan on giving you brief examples...

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Gratitude

Gratitude

  In the last week, I've been doing a lot of thinking on the amount of progress that I have made since coming to SafeHope Home.  Reflecting back on myself a little over eleven months ago is a really crazy feeling. Eleven months ago, my goals were to learn how to be...

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Self Discovery

Self Discovery

  After separating myself from my trafficker and making the decision to get clean and sober, I often found myself at a loss as to who I really was as a person. For years, I was being told what to do and when to do it by my trafficker or solely being driven by my drug...

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Re-Victimization

Re-Victimization

  In this week's blog post I thought I would speak about revictimization and the damage it has caused me. When referring back to my own journey throughout human trafficking, being revictimized comes up a lot. On several different occasions, I would feel that...

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Mental Health

Mental Health

 For the last week or so I’ve kind of been struggling with my mental health, so I thought that's what I would speak about in this week's blog. At SafeHope Home we spend a lot of time working on our past traumas in a therapeutic school-type setting. I do feel that this...

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Triggers

Triggers

I feel that I haven't spoken very much about the ways that my trauma has affected me as an individual. This week, I would like to use the blog to talk more about my own story. I personally hate using the word trigger because of the way that it is portrayed at times....

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Addiction and Human Trafficking

Addiction and Human Trafficking

  Recently, I've been thinking a lot about the effect that my addiction had on me while I was actively being trafficked. Although I didn't really have much choice on whether I left my trafficker or not, my addiction did stop me from trying to run a lot of...

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Complex Trauma

Complex Trauma

In this week's blog, I would like to speak about complex trauma and how it affects the mind, body and spirit. First things first, I thought it would be important to give you a definition of what complex trauma is. Complex trauma impacts people who have been exposed to...

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Looking for the Signs

Looking for the Signs

 In this week’s blog, I would like to focus on what was happening in my family life once my trafficking situation began. Often, I feel that this part of a survivor’s story isn’t really touched upon, so I would like to use this opportunity to share my experience...

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My Teen Years

My Teen Years

 In last week’s blog, I touched on some early childhood stuff. This week, I will be speaking about my teen years. Before you keep reading, I would like to add a trigger warning for everyone reading. I am going to be talking a lot about how I met my trafficker and...

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The Beginning

The Beginning

 Hey there, Ricky again. I hope you enjoyed the blog last week. This week I thought I would dive a little deeper into my story. Growing up I was always provided for - I was able to participate in extracurricular activities, my family and I lived in a nice house,...

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A New Chapter

A New Chapter

Hi there, my name is Ricky. You may recognize me from a previous blogpost. I made an appearance back in December around Christmas time. I'vebeen blessed with the opportunity to share my experiences in life, both at andbefore Safe Hope Home. To say that I'm a little...

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Unpacking

Unpacking

             This past week and a bit has been an absolute whirlwind filled with all kinds of emotions, both positive and challenging.  By the time this gets posted it will officially be one week that I have been on my own at my new place and let me tell you, it has...

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You have to choose

You have to choose

I know that I’ve written plenty about making choices and decisions that will help move oneself forward in recovery compared to hurting oneself, but what I have come to realize in a time of my life where there is so much change is that it is totally normal to doubt...

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Changes- pt. 1 (A Whole New World)

Changes- pt. 1 (A Whole New World)

Life is full of changes, in fact, I was recently talking with someone and we were discussing how change is the only actual constant thing in life.  In a world where there is absolutely no guarantee of anything, change is one of the few things you can rely on as...

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Celebration

Celebration

Every so often at SafeHope, we have what we call ‘Celebration Week’.  As can be assumed from its name, this is usually a week-long celebration that is devoted to acknowledging how far each of the girls have come in their recovery.  Despite the ups and downs...

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Fear (Part 1)

Fear (Part 1)

Whoever said that the only thing to fear is fear itself, probably never had much to be afraid of in their life.  Fear can be a healthy thing though.  Since the beginning of time, that feeling is what kept us alive in situations where our ‘fight or flight’...

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Putting Distance Between Me and the Past

Putting Distance Between Me and the Past

Something that I am very familiar with is the concept of wanting to get better.  In fact, in the past, I have been notorious for rushing that process at times. The thing is though, life has a way of handing things out and putting things in your path once you’re ready,...

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Relapse and Recovery

Relapse and Recovery

Relapse and recovery can be two very hard topics, especially when you put them together. Relapse can mean a lot of things.  It is also possible to relapse on a lot of things.  A relapse can be a slip, or it can be a full-on decline back to self-destructive...

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New Year, New Me

New Year, New Me

Can you believe it? 2020 is finally over! We made it!! Probably through one of the craziest years on record! At least in my lifetime (as far as global pandemics go).  I know this year has been extremely challenging for a lot of people and we have all had to adjust to...

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The Things That Matter

The Things That Matter

Today is a special day.  Not only is it Christmas eve, but it is a special blog post too! Today it is not only me writing the blog, but another one of the amazing girls who lives here at SafeHope Home too.  Now, just like me, we can’t tell you her actual name either,...

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Stress, Self-Care and Recovery

Stress, Self-Care and Recovery

Sometimes you need a week off, and that’s exactly what I needed last week. Life can get a bit crazy sometimes and the world gets busy and before you know it- bam. You’re trapped in a whirlwind forgetting how to breathe.  Rather than trying to keep up with every curve...

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Getting Ready for the Holidays

Getting Ready for the Holidays

  Well, it has officially passed December 1st, meaning that Christmas (or Chanukah, or Kwanza, or anything else anyone may celebrate) lights are going up and that trees are going to be decorated.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday are gone, and people are officially...

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Money and Recovery

Money and Recovery

             Money is a topic that can be quite challenging for many people and used to be a source of great anxiety for me for many years.  For years, not only was money ‘the source of all evil’, yes,...

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The Danger of “I’ve Got This”

The Danger of “I’ve Got This”

The term “I’ve got this” is one that I’ve heard people say countless times before and, quite frankly, has come out of my mouth a number of times in the past too; however, it is often a terrifying indicator of overconfidence.  Nowadays, every time I hear someone...

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Trauma and Eating Disorders

Trauma and Eating Disorders

  The correlation between people who have experienced trauma and who have eating disorders is huge.  Now, I know this is a bit more of a medical topic so- right off the top I really want to stress the fact that I’m not a doctor. Nowhere close.  I’ve...

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The Day We Met

The Day We Met

As you may have been able to tell from my last few blog posts, there appears to be a bit of a pattern as to how I was treated by men when I was younger (at least this is something that I’ve noticed in hindsight). For a lot of people who’ve been trafficked, some kind...

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Regrets vs Do-Overs’ (Part 2)

Regrets vs Do-Overs’ (Part 2)

As I mentioned last week, I am a firm believer that we all do the best we can with what we have.  What I mean by that is, each one of us has different values and skills at our disposal that we may or may not apply in the variety of situations life throws our way....

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Regrets vs Do-Overs’ (Part 1)

Regrets vs Do-Overs’ (Part 1)

Most of the time, I have thankfully gotten to a point in my life where I am able to live without regrets.  Before, there were plenty of things in my past that I absolutely hated, brought me all kinds of shame, and would give anything to have taken away or changed. ...

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Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

  I think for a lot of people, dates hold a lot of significance, especially if there are past experiences that are associated with them. I am a firm believer that our experiences are what shape us and that looking back on certain things can have quite an...

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To The Women Who’ve Come Before Me

To The Women Who’ve Come Before Me

  If you know me, you know that one of the things I say quite frequently about getting sober and starting to heal is that I had a number of women in my life who ‘taught me how to live again.’  The reason I want to talk a little bit about the strong women...

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Highway Through Hell (Part 2)

Highway Through Hell (Part 2)

  I decided to do a second part of this blog topic because I feel like there are still some things that people may not be aware of that I wanted to shed a bit more light on, at least pertaining to my experience.  That...

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Highway Through Hell (Part 1)

Highway Through Hell (Part 1)

The 401 has been named Canada's busiest highway.  For commuters, travellers and traffickers (mind you, that last one is only in my opinion). Over the past couple of years, human trafficking has become more of a prominent issue in both society and the media;...

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The Power of Choice

The Power of Choice

  When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I do is make a list of things I either have to or want to accomplish.  Of course, I only do this after I’ve had my first 2 coffees, 3 cigarettes, and have browsed social media for about half an hour...

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Survivors’ Guilt

Survivors’ Guilt

Survivors guilt is a psychological concept that can apply to many situations.  People talk about experiencing this kind of emotional stressor when referencing soldiers returning from war, surviving an accident in which there was a fatality or a host of any other...

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A New Series

A New Series

When SafeHope Home asked me to help contribute to their blog, I was excited and nervous. I think everyone always dreams of having a voice, at least I have, and to be asked to contribute to such an important forum- I was honoured. Like the last author of the blog...

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The Thing About Recovery

The Thing About Recovery

Here’s the thing about recovery… it’s not what you think. It never ends up being what you imagined it would be like. It’s terrifying and stressful and exhausting and when you hear this you might wonder, then what’s the point?… then why do it? It’s worth it. That’s why. Let me explain.

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Triggers

Triggers

After living a life full of traumatizing experiences, many things which may appear at first to be minor or insignificant to others may actually have quite terrible associations to the survivor. It is also very difficult to have a list of words or actions for support...

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Types of Pimps/Grooming

Types of Pimps/Grooming

I can not manage to condense the experiences of the years in the sex industry in a few short blogs. There are many events experienced between the big life-changing ones, which seem to shape a person's life, which may at first appear insignificant, or not important...

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Trust & Self-Esteem

Trust & Self-Esteem

Learning to trust again is quite the task after being taught not to trust for so long. I'd been brainwashed by traffickers, and by hanging out with the wrong crowd. I believed you could trust no one. That's actually something they say in the streets, people are out...

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The Way Out?

The Way Out?

The journey out was as harrowing, confusing, and exhausting and seemingly endless as the journey in. Although the officer met me at the hospital offering that to move me to a secret location and set me up with all kinds of supports if I gave a video statement about...

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The Realization

The Realization

It was when my mum came to visit me in Ottawa that she noticed something was wrong instantly. Bear in mind I had painted a picture to her: of me having finally gotten my life together, an apartment, a boyfriend... I made it seem like I had it all together when we...

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Re-Victimization… Again.

Re-Victimization… Again.

Love. I just wanted love. I refused to acknowledge how traumatized I was, or what I was doing with my life. I drank every day, and smoked $100 worth of weed per week, sometimes more, while living at my dad's place. I dealt with none of my trauma. I wanted to believe I...

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Re-Victimization

Re-Victimization

The next time I was trafficked was after leaving jail. I tried to work on my recovery again first though; I worked with withdrawal management, went to groups and all kinds of recovery-based programs, and nothing really worked. I ended up missing dancing at clubs,...

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Living Life in the Fast Lane

Living Life in the Fast Lane

If you're following along on the adventure that is my life, then welcome to the part where I make a LOT of mistakes. Let's start at the beginning. So here I am, I've just run away from the man who had been trafficking me for the last few weeks to a strip club in...

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Introduction to the Sex Industry

Introduction to the Sex Industry

    With my sickness and mental health spiraling even more, and no results coming from doctors, my mum and I reached our wits end and decided to give the one last possible option a shot - that this sickness was actually caused from stress or anxiety. So...

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Teenage Instability

Teenage Instability

2010 brought with it a car accident, and then 2012' brought with it a pregnancy. These are two major events that shaped my life completely. When my mum got out of the Penetanguishene mental health hospital, she was stabilized on medications that were working for her,...

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Dysfunctional Childhoods

Dysfunctional Childhoods

My sister and I had been homeschooled, private schooled, and in the Catholic as well as the public school systems by the time I was 11 or 12 years old. My mum decided to buy a house for us in Collingwood because we were bussed everywhere from Glenn Huron, where we...

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Childhood

Childhood

When I was a child, my family moved around a LOT. I was born in Kingston, we were living in Delta at the time. Then my parents bought a converted church in Flesherton and we moved there. From there we moved to England, and then British Columbia. Then we came back to...

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Life before and at SafeHope Home

Life before and at SafeHope Home

Before coming to SafeHope Home, I had been to over 30 or 40 therapists in my life, probably more than that actually. Not a single one had been successful in even gaining my trust, let alone helping me with any problems. The trauma therapist at SHH was the very first...

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What is love?

What is love?

Where do I begin? How can I begin to define something when I've never really witnessed it myself? We live in a world that is filled with societal impositions and expectations. Love is portrayed in movies as this miraculous thing that takes your breath away, sweeps you...

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