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Human Trafficking

Represent Resilience

The 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was observed in 2020. The Act recognized the importance of holding traffickers criminally accountable, protecting victims, and preventing victimization from occurring in the first place.

OVC leads the Department of Justice’s response efforts to combat human trafficking and provides the most federal funding to those on the frontlines. In commemoration of the 20th anniversary, OVC launched this art initiative—Represent Resilience—to feature original artwork by survivors, advocates, and anti-trafficking professionals across the country.

We received an overwhelming response from survivors and providers across the country and, with the assistance of a survivor-led review team, we are pleased to announce the artwork selected for our virtual display.

Beautifully Transformed

This photograph submitted by Matilde Simas represents transformation. According to the artist, Beautifully Transformed is a piece that explores the transformation of sex trafficking survivors in the U.S. Beautifully Transformed, is a layered composite of still image portraits and poetry written by Selina Deveau about her transformation from survivor to advocate. The portraits depict two survivors gazing up toward light symbolizing bravery and moving toward a better future.

Everyone Deserves Their Springtime
Andrew Johnstone, Nancy O'Malley, Regina Evans (see reuse policy).

Everyone Deserves Their Springtime

This oil painting on canvas submitted by Andrew Johnstone, Nancy O'Malley, and Regina Evans from the Alameda County District Attorney's Office team represents advances in the field. According to the artist, the woman in this image is “all of us” in the anti-trafficking movement, particularly survivors evolving from darkness to a life filled with joy and beauty.

Springtime is a time of growth, newness, and rebirth. Springtime follows a dark winter. For 20 years, the anti-trafficking movement has worked to transform despair to hope, invisible to visible, and despondency into openness, enthusiasm and hope. She, like the movement, have been transformed. 

Inhale the Future, Exhale the Past
Jacqueline Baerwald (see reuse policy).

Inhale the Future, Exhale the Past

This painting (acrylic and copper on books and wood) submitted by Jacqueline Baerwald represents transformation. According to the artist, this piece poses a series of silent questions about the transition from victim to survivor and beyond. The process involves so much more than removing a victim from a dangerous situation. To truly be free, transformation must happen within one’s thoughts, beliefs and emotions. A new story must be written in one’s mind and heart, replacing suffocating fear with breathtaking dreams.

Unica (Only)
Daira Adriana Year (see reuse policy).

Unica (Only)

This oil on canvas submitted by Daira Adriana Year represents resilience. This abstract painting shows the artist's personal experience as a victim of human trafficking. It displays sadness, pain, agony, and despair in difficult moments along the path of life. Trusting in God, and with help from a victim services provider, Ms. Year was able to find a light at the end of the tunnel and look towards a future full of happiness.