5 TedX Talks by Survivors of Human Trafficking


Bridges Out of the Past: A Survivor’s Lessons on Resilience | Ria Story


In this captivating TEDx talk on resilience, Ria walks you through her own horrific story of more than seven years of sexual abuse by her father. She then shares the lessons on resilience she learned as she learned to not just survive, but thrive in spite of her past. Overcome challenges, obstacles, and adversity in your own life by building a bridge out of the past and into the future. Like many, Ria faced adversity in life. Raised on an isolated farm in Alabama, she was sexually abused by her father from age 12 – 19. Desperate to escape, she left home at 19 without a job, a car, or even a high school diploma.


Ria learned to be resilient, not only surviving but thriving. She worked her way through college, earning her MBA with a cumulative 4.0 GPA, and had a successful career in the corporate world of administrative healthcare.


Today, Ria is a motivational leadership speaker and author of 9 books. Ria and her husband, Mack Story, co-founded Top Story Leadership which offers motivational speaking, leadership training, coaching, and consulting.


I was human trafficked for 10 years. We can do more to stop it | Barbara Amaya

Barbara Amaya ran away at the age of 12 after being abused by family members. She was taken in on the streets of Washington, DC by a couple who seemed nice, but ended up selling her into human trafficking. She was used for months and then sold to a man named Moses who took her to New York and continued to traffic her for many years. Now Barbara fights for other victims of human trafficking and to change policies that treat victims as criminals.


Barbara is an anti-trafficking advocate, speaker, trainer, author and survivor leader in the movement to end modern-day slavery and human trafficking. She is Senior Technical Adviser, Policy, Programs and After Care Services at SeraphimGlobal, and has been actively raising awareness of the sexual exploitation of children and domestic sex trafficking since 2012.


I was sex trafficked for years. Brothels are hidden in plain sight | Casandra Diamond

Sex trafficking may be happening behind the walls of businesses you pass daily - including the some of the massage parlours and holistic centres in your community. Casandra Diamond shares a harrowing story of her experience inside these modern day brothels: in this raw and honest talk, learn about the systemic issues that enable businesses to operate in plain sight and how you can help to advocate for change.


Casandra is the founding director of BridgeNorth, a survivor-led charitable organization that provides programs to assist victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Her work includes investing in public education, awareness, and advocacy at all levels of government including supporting Bill C-36 which is now law as the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act.


Domestic Sex Trafficking - A Survivor's Perspective | Karly Church


As she defines what domestic sex trafficking is, Karly talks about the stages of exploitation while drawing upon her personal experiences. Karly helps educators understand how they can help elicit change. Karly Church is a Crisis Intervention Counselor, Social Service Worker, and advocate for survivors of domestic sex trafficking. She has worked the front line with youth in sex work and trafficking for over four years.


Church works at Victim Services of Durham Region, where she provides specialized services and support to survivors of human trafficking. Church is a Canadore College graduate from two separate programs: Mental Health and Addictions, and Social Service. As a survivor of domestic human trafficking, she harnesses her lived experience, extensive knowledge, and her passion to work with her fellow survivors. She meets individuals at their need while providing support with a trauma informed perspective.


Church has delivered keynote speeches throughout Canada and has trained and presented to thousands of social service providers. She is dedicated to providing preventative education through youth symposiums, presentations, consultations, interviews and panels on human trafficking.




Escaping the pain of human trafficking | Markie Dell


Markie Dell, human trafficking survivor, recounts her experience and her journey healing through the trauma. After trying to reclaim her life, it was the unusual advice from a friend that lead to her healing.