Developments in the fields of law and journalism during the last two decades have led to greater awareness of the need for trauma-informed practices vis-à-vis survivors of violence, and correspondingly, the emergence of pedagogical resources for legal advocates and journalists. Due to traditional disciplinary silos, extant resources on trauma-informed practices in each field have been authored in relative isolation from each other, i.e., guides for legal advocates have been blind to guides for journalists and vice versa. This Article demonstrates that despite the obvious differences between lawyering and journalism, professionals in these two fields share some of the same aims as they interact with survivors of human trafficking in the course of their work, beginning with the shared aims of fact-finding and truth-telling. They also take on the role of representing the experience and perspective of survivors to others, albeit in distinct arenas. Because of those common aims and roles, this Article contends that lawyers and journalists also face similar challenges and risks—to themselves and to the survivors with whom they interact and represent—as they attempt to be trauma-informed in their work. Relatedly, many survivors of human trafficking have reported being retraumatized by their interactions with both lawyers and journalists. Drawing on multiple genres of publications and firsthand accounts, this Article interleaves insights from extant resources on trauma-informed practices from the fields of legal advocacy, prosecution, and journalism—and from survivors themselves—in order to articulate foundational practices that have potential to be beneficial to both professions, and to survivors.
Kirsten Foot Ph.D.,
Toward Trauma-Informed Professional Practices: What Legal Advocates and Journalists Can Learn from Each Other and Survivors of Human Trafficking,
Ga. St. U. L. Rev.
Available at: https://readingroom.law.gsu.edu/gsulr/vol36/iss4/10