The Refuge’s Respite and Recovery project
Our goal is to respectfully gather and listen to voices of women who have been trafficked.
We are piloting a program to support their empowerment, and work with community organizations
and individuals to develop and enhance practices and policies that reflect this learning.
We offer trauma-informed wellness retreats for women who have been trafficked and wish to
volunteer. Our retreats usually take place over a weekend, for three days. We host survivors
in our beautiful space at St. Mary of Egypt Refuge, to listen to their voices and to provide
some time of healing and peace.
Respite and Recovery is a two-year project, started in April 2022, in support of women who have
been trafficked. St. Mary of Egypt Refuge acknowledges the generous support of Women and Gender
The project involves partnering with experienced organizations and individuals, including those
with lived experience to help in listening to women who have been trafficked, with a view to
preparing trauma-informed retreats in support of women, and education for those who work with
Respite and Recovery retreats are delivered in a quiet and peaceful environment in partnership
with professionals and organizations. We hosted the first pilot retreat for survivors of human
trafficking in November 2022. We were honored to see how the survivors appreciated their stay
here, and participation in the program. St Mary of Egypt Refuge will host two more retreats in
2023 for women who have been trafficked.
Suggested reading and listening
Books, articles, podcasts
- • Religion and Human Trafficking, article by Professor Mary Graw Leary, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
- • Trafficking in persons in Canada, 2020 article by Government of Canada’s Resources and Information
- • Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective, book by Louise Shelley
- • Amanda Blackwood the Survivor Podcast
Theresa Flores’ work and projects
- • The Slave Across the Street, the harrowing true story of how a 15-year-old girl became a sex slave, by Theresa Flores
- • The SOAP Project
Work of other organizations in Canada and abroad
Human trafficking in the news