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February Meetup: Survivor Barbara Amaya shares her story and her mission

Barbara Amaya -- a survivor of sex trafficking and columnist for the Washington Times -- had an epiphany after watching a newscast about trafficked teens in her neighborhood and broke her silence of four decades when she began to share her own story of being a trafficked child from the age of thirteen for eight long years in the streets of New York. Overcoming her own horrific trauma and abuse to bring her message of hope and overcoming adversity is now her life’s purpose.

She has become an advocate for human trafficking victims and survivors and she is a sought after speaker. She has spoken and shared her story in various media like Fox, Channel 4, More magazine, Animal New York, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, George Mason University, Shepherd University, Rotary Club Crystal City, Women’s Peace Federation, D.C. Stop Modern Slavery Walk Richmond Justice Initiative at the Byrd Theatre, and the Washington Times where she writes a column about human trafficking called “Telling it like it is” and more.

Barbara is working on getting much needed human trafficking legislation passed in her home state of Virginia as well as other states and has partnered with northern Virginia Seraphim Global in their efforts to fight human trafficking, change policy and ensure that survivors of human trafficking have the statutes in place to help them live productive lives.


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  • Beth M.

    Thank you, Barbara, for your talk and all you are doing to help others. May all your activism work return to you ten-fold in good karma and blessings for continued personal healing.

    February 12, 2013

  • Danielle

    Hi, Did you realize that VA SMS created the same event and has 13 RVPS in addition to the 60 RSVPs here?

    February 6, 2013

  • Kelvin Kings M.

    I am looking forward!

    February 3, 2013

  • Starr N.

    Hello! I would love to come to this event, and would be traveling from Mathews, Va, to Richmond, Va and then up 95N. Can you tell me what type of facility this event is being hosted at, and if parking will be available? Also, is there a fee for this speaking engagement? Thank you!

    January 27, 2013

    • Starr N.

      Hi Marci - so sweet of you to get right back with me on my questions. Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to make this event after all which makes me very sad! Do you know if there will be a recording of this that can be purchased? Also, might you know of any meet-ups for stopping modern slavery in the Richmond area?? DC is quite a trek for me - not that I mind the drive at all, but if I could find an organization closer to home I may be more successful in attending more frequently. Many thanks and I look forward to meeting you one day!

      January 29, 2013

    • Marci A.

      HI Starr, so sorry you can't make it. Barbara spoke to students at GMU a few months ago and it was very powerful. I don't know of any anti-trafficking groups in Richmond off the top of my head, but you can use the VA SMS meetup site to host events throughout the state. Let me know if that sounds like something you want to try and I will help you get started. I am sure there are a lot of people in the area who are interested in the movement too.

      January 30, 2013

  • Robin G.

    Hello! Very much looking forward to attending this event! One quick question - can I bring a guest that is under 21 years old? I wasn't sure if the venue, Madhatter would allow someone underage to enter at that time?

    January 29, 2013

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