Turning the Tide: A Story of Hell, Healing & Hope
Documentary and a Survivor-Informed Framework
On October 23, 2023, WYES (a member station of PBS) premiered the new documentary to highlight the plight of sex trafficking in Louisiana. Turning the Tide: A Story Of Hell, Healing, and Hope features First Lady Donna Edwards, the Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy, Catholic nuns who assist in the operation of Metanoia Manor, and a Louisiana State Police investigator. Most notably, the documentary spotlights the stories of three brave survivors, providing an intimate look into the dynamics of human trafficking from their experience and perspectives. Dani, a survivor featured in the documentary, was honored to share her story. Dani hopes that by sharing her story that she will “bring awareness to the realities of human trafficking and to let other survivors know they are not alone. ”The statewide and community level response in Louisiana has been widely driven from a survivor-informed and victim-centered framework. The Louisiana Survivor Council was established through the Governor’s Office of Human Trafficking Prevention in 2019. The mission of the council is to inform statewide prevention and treatment efforts from the lens of a survivor. The motto of the council was borrowed from the public health sector and simply stated, “Nothing about us, without us…” First Lady Edwards, Governor’s Office of Human Trafficking Prevention staff and key stakeholders have engaged survivors in developing statewide training curriculums, the statewide resource directory and in developing and implementing a region specific multidisciplinary response for victims and survivors across the state. Having a voice at the table has been both meaningful and inspiring for Louisiana Survivors. A special thank you to First Lady Edwards in her unyielding support of the Louisiana Human Trafficking Survivor Council, each of our survivor leaders and council members and key stakeholders for the work that we’ve been able to achieve across this state on behalf of survivors. A special thank you to Karen Swensen as well who produced, wrote, and narrated the documentary and to WYES for their special care and attention to this most pressing topic. You may view the thirty-minute documentary below, as well as a follow-up round table discussion with leading experts in Louisiana that highlights resources and effective responses to sex trafficking.
Dr. Dana R. Hunter, Executive Director Office of Human Trafficking Prevention
Mary Kate Andrepont, Program Manager Office of Human Trafficking Prevention