Aftercare or transitional care involves providing services to survivors of slavery so that they can heal and move forward with their lives.
It’s essential to care for those emerging from slavery because of the traumatic experiences they’ve endured. Aftercare services include serving physical needs like housing, food and clothing as well as security, counseling and medical care.
Serving survivors of slavery in this phase of abolition looks different based on the needs of each individual survivor. Women, men and children require different treatments and services, and since abuse is not just physical, psychological care varies based on each patient.
In many communities, former slaves are unwelcome. Even though they’ve been victims of a horrific crime, due to cultural practices and norms, many survivors – especially of sex slavery – are unable to return to their homes. In these cases, antislavery organizations assist in the creation of new, healthy communities where survivors can thrive.
Reintegrating back into society is difficult, and aftercare homes and services assist those emerging from enslavement in adjusting to a life of freedom.
Areas of Work in the Aftercare Phase:
- Emergency Housing– Emergency provisions include initial housing, food and safety immediately following a rescue. In order for the enslaved to leave exploitative situations, they need a place to go. Governments sometimes provide emergency housing.
- Transitional Housing– More long-term in nature, transitional housing is the next step in care for survivors. These homes provide a variety of services, including physical and mental care. Transitional housing can last from a few weeks to years.
- Counseling and Psychological Services– Survivors of modern-day slavery and trafficking have faced traumatic experiences, and organizations and individuals serve them by providing trauma-centered care.
- Medical Care– Many survivors have extreme medical needs from their time in enslavement. Transitional care often includes medical care to bring them back to strong physical health.
- Life Skills Training– Oftentimes, survivors need basic life skills training to learn personal and social skills in order to care for themselves following their enslavement. Individuals provide survivors with financial, parenting, business and other trainings.
- Education– Many transitional care facilities provide education or enroll survivors in nearby schools. Survivors often missed educational opportunities because of their enslavement, and their education is key to their empowerment.