We believe in our safehouse that healing from the trauma of trafficking is an organic process requiring finding ways for our survivors to reconnect within. The Arts, Music and Dance that Crossing Point Arts brings to our house in a thoughtful and caring way has become an important component of how hope is weaved back into our survivors 'lives . Crossing Point Arts provides us with wonderful moments of experiencing being fully present emotionally and physically as well as connected to each other. We have danced with West African songs, experienced the vibrational power of our own voices, played world instruments, sang together and painted a shared painting. In these experiences of rhythms , synchronicity and collaboration we combat the alienation and numbness of trafficking trauma. We are very grateful to the artists that share their talents with us helping us create a collection of positive sensory memories for our survivor.
Cristina Kartheiser, LMSW
~ Lifeway Network
Crossing Point Arts has been facilitating therapeutic art groups at GEMS since 2014. Young women who have been commercially sexually exploited and trafficked often do not recognize their own worth or feel like they are good at anything. They need a range of therapeutic, educational and recreational activities to help them learn skills, build their self-esteem and self-efficacy, and begin to heal. Through art, music and dance, the weekly Crossing Point Arts groups have supported GEMS’ girls and young women to utilize positive coping skills and manage stress, while discovering new talents and interests. The quality and consistency of volunteers keep the girls and young women engaged and help them to feel supported by adult allies when there are often very few adults whom they can trust and count on. The Crossing Point Arts groups continue to be an integral part of the youth development, empowerment and leadership work that is done at GEMS.
Jessica Trudeau, Program Director
GEMS-girls (Girls Education and Mentoring Service)
The work of CPA cannot be underscored enough. Instinctively, we know that music and other forms of the arts is a universal language that can transcend cultural, political, and other boundaries. And although there is increasing neuroscience evidence that music can have positive influences on psychological trauma, we do not yet have a firm grasp of understanding how specific art-based techniques can help survivors of trauma heal. That is why I am humbled and excited to collaborate with organizations like Crossing Point Arts to utilize public health science to document and understand how the arts can be used to alleviate the effects of trauma among the survivors.
Phuong Thao Le, PhD - Researcher
NYU School of Glo
bal Public Health
Crossing Point Arts began its alliance with EMPOWER Gyn in October 2015 when they came to teach music workshops at the EMPOWER Clinic, the clinic I founded to provide Ob/Gyn and psychiatric care to survivors of sex trafficking and sexual violence at Gouverneur Health, an affiliate of Bellevue Hospital and part of New York Health and Hospitals, the public hospital system of New York City.
When weekly workshops were launched at our clinic we began to receive wonderful responses from patients, which were clear indications that the approach of the participatory music sessions were helping my patients deal with anxiety, stress, PTSD and depression. My patients reported that they were having greater success navigating difficult emotional terrain (associated with their PTSD). I was thrilled.
My patients who have attended the workshops report a sense of serenity and vitality that came from participating in restorative musical activities. I see the happiness in their eyes, and am encouraged to know that they have embraced new and effective ways to care for themselves. The offerings of Crossing Point Arts has helped relieve the challenging emotional pressure that they live with as survivors of human trafficking.
Veronica Ades, MD, MPH, FACOG
Director, EMPOWER Clinic for Survivors of Sex Trafficking and Sexual Violence Assistant Professor New York University School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
"Hi Anne -- I spoke with a few of the students from yesterday's talk "Bringing The Arts Off The Stage and Into The World" and they were all inspired to "change the world" -- what more could we ask for? So, thank you for charging them up and igniting that fire!"
Marissa Silverman, PhD
Coordinator of Undergraduate Music Education
John J. Cali School of Music
Montclair State University
Montclair, NJ 07043