Amy Vatne Bintliff is an educator, author, and Ph.D. candidate in educational psychology-human development at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Her research areas include adolescent trauma, wellbeing, and human trafficking education.

Christine Stark is an award-winning author, speaker, organizer, and visual artist of Native and white ancestry. Her first novel, Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation was a Lambda Literary Finalist. She is a co-author of the research report "Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota" and a co-editor of Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography. For more information: www.christinestark.com

Lori DiPrete Brown, MS, MTS., is the director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison 4W Women and Wellbeing Initiative and has led global health system strengthening efforts for women and children around the world. She is a member of the Department of Civil Society and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin School of Human Ecology.

Araceli Alonso is an associate faculty at University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the School of Medicine and Public Health, where she teaches classes on women’s health and women’s rights. Alonso is also the founder and director of Health by Motorbike (HbM), an NGO that provides medical services and health literacy to remote and isolated villages in Africa. For her work with women in rural Kenya, Alonso has been awarded the United Nations Public Service Award (United Nations, 2013) and the Jefferson Award for Public Service (American Institute for Public Service, 2013). In 2016, she became co-holder of the UNESCO chair at UW-Madison for Global Work on Gender, Well-Being and Peace. She is also the director for gender, health and clinical practice of the 4W-UW-Madison initiative STREETS (Social Transformation to end the Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children).


This article summarizes a collaborative effort by researchers, service providers, and women who have experienced exploitation and trafficking for sex, to inform policy and practice related to care for survivors. The effort brought together current research program experience from around the world, and survivor perspectives, in a 2015 interactive forum entitled “STREETS of Hope: Listening to and Supporting Survivors of Human Trafficking.” A participatory approach to defining wellbeing, designed especially for use with vulnerable or highly marginalized populations of women and girls, provided the framework for the discussions. In addition, attempts were made to use principles of trauma-informed care during the workshop itself, toward the overall goals of 1) working as equals to inform research agendas; 2) gaining insights from survivors to improve services; and 3) providing survivors and all participants with a wellbeing model that can help them think and speak with specificity and clarity about their personal growth, wellbeing, and self-care. The results of the interactive two-day workshop and subsequent consultations included: 1) increased understandings and more detailed descriptions of what wellbeing is from the lived experience of survivors, and 2) insights about ways that services and care can be more responsive to the needs and preferences of survivors. Further, the collective exercise suggested revisions and specifications to the wellbeing model itself. Finally, the collaborators identified future directions for their shared research and practice. Overall, the experience of the “STREETS of Hope Forum” supports the idea that iterative, equitable, collaborative work with survivors must be employed to inform systems of care, and that a dynamic and multi-dimensional concept of wellbeing can help survivors, researchers, program leaders and policy-makers to foster support and agency throughout the life course. For those who participated, “STREETS of Hope” constituted a reframing of the goals of services care. It enabled us to think beyond basic needs and survival as defined by caregivers, to one that centers the experience of survivors and fosters recognition of and realization of their talents and life aspirations.

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