Meet Chau, a courageous psychologist who counsels trafficked girls. She believes it is courage and tenacity that gives trafficking survivors a way to face their fears and build a new life.
When Blue Dragon rescues a trafficked girl from a brothel or forced marriage in China it is the start of a long relationship with Blue Dragon and our psychologist, Chau.
“The girls have been in a living nightmare, sometimes for years. Separated from their families, imprisoned, repeatedly raped and beaten, and threatened with worse if they don’t comply. Tricked and let down by friends, boyfriends and neighbours; people they thought they could trust.
It takes a lot of courage and determination for girls to escape from their captors, face them in court, return home and start again. The girls have amazing resilience, as does Chau herself.
Earning their trust is one of the greatest challenges for Chau. It took three years for one survivor to totally trust her. “She trusted me enough to let me help her go back to school, but not completely, not until she graduated and we no longer supported her financially. All that time Thao* and her family were expecting that there would be a catch.” They couldn’t believe that someone would help them without wanting something in return.
Chau has assisted 44 women to recover from their trauma, and currently supports 25 girls, helping them conquer their fears, increase self-esteem and build new lives through education and training.
As a result of Chau’s hard work and expertise, Blue Dragon is achieving exceptional long-term results for the survivors in our care. It’s not a 9 to 5 job though. After months, and sometimes years, of abuse, survivors associate night-time with the pain and terror of their captivity. Chau calls the most vulnerable every evening, to check they are okay and reassure them.
What does Chau like most about her job? “I really like being able to help survivors recognise the value of persistence and find the courage to conquer their fears to recover from their trauma. Every day they get stronger and learn to love and value themselves more,” says Chau.