Dancing to heal
How a movement class is helping victims of trafficking resolve conflict and handle their traumatic pasts
BANGALORE, 15TH FEB 2012: “This helps me vent and express my feelings,” says Anika, an 18-year-old victim of trafficking. Anika and 17 other teenage girls are at a movement therapy class initiated by Justice and Care at a shelter home in Bangalore.
Victims of trafficking suffer from trauma and rage because of what they have been through. It is difficult for them to process these emotions. As a result there are often conflicts and fights when they move into a shelter home. “We’ve noticed that the girls have a hard time understanding themselves and other people,” says one of our Aftercare Associates. “So we thought dance therapy was a wonderful way in which they could learn that.”
The girls meet once a week with a therapist who teaches them exercises that involve speaking with dance movements, trust falls and using movement to convey and read emotion. The therapy helps the girls relieve stress and communicate in healthier ways.
Shaina, 16, looks forward to each class and says, “I especially enjoy the exercise of falling backwards as my friends catch me. It has helped me to trust people and help others who depend on me.”