Beyond Trauma: Shining the light of advocacy, training and personalized guidance for survivors.
Elisabeth is a survivor of family-controlled child sex trafficking and abuse. Her encounters with domestic violence and incest began when she was two years old. After years of familial sexual abuse, her father started selling her to make extra money. Through her bravery and resilience, she was able to survive and leave home at 18, but not without physical and psychological repercussions. She was 36 when her first repressed memory was recovered. She has spent the past six years recovering from her childhood experiences and earning her master’s degree in social work (MSW), while parenting two small children.
Elisabeth writes about the biological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of recovery from complex posttraumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) and dissociation on her blog at BeatingTrauma.com. She intimately discusses issues that affect the daily lives of survivors, including breaking the cycle of abuse through conscious parenting, navigating intimate relationships as a survivor, balancing the memory recovery process with daily life, coping with self-doubt and overcoming the physical symptoms of a traumatic childhood.
She uses her corporate experience in program management, training, finance and information technology, her education in social work and her personal experiences as a sex trafficking and abuse survivor to generate awareness about sexual violence and complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
As an advocate, she has four goals:
1) She works to bring the discussion of sex abuse and sex trafficking to the children and teachers in schools. She understands the strategies that families use to deter children from understanding and talking about their abuse, and she wants to counter those tactics through education. She speaks to teachers in preschools about the signs of abuse and works to bring more awareness programs to young children.
2) She trains recovery partners who work with adult and child survivors, so that she can help them understand some of the challenges they may be facing. She has partnered with organizations like the Office for Victims of Crime and the Department of Health and Human Services to bring training to those who need it. She has trained at the Shared Hope International and Freedom Network conferences and trains medical professionals within the Virginia Commonwealth University Health Services network. The trainings have reached the gynecological, nursing, pediatric and dental departments thus far.
3) She raises awareness about familial sex abuse and trafficking through legislative advocacy and media interviews. She has interviewed with programs like PBS To The Contrary, Huffington Post Live, and Stop Child Abuse Now radio. She was also privileged to speak at a Department of Justice Anti-Trafficking event with Attorney General Eric Holder where she discussed the need for long-term trauma recovery programs.
4) Through her writing and virtual forum, she works with adult survivors of trauma. She guides survivors to develop a deep understanding for their abuse-born belief systems and promotes the steps necessary to experience a deep recovery. She shows survivors how to achieve true independence and make their seemingly unattainable goals a reality. She has been published by The Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, PsychCentral, XOJane, The Good Men Project and Scary Mommy which helps her to spread the word about recovery after complex trauma.