Earlier this week, Vaporstream CEO Galina Datskovsky and Safe House Project co-founder Brittany Dunn connected to talk about trust in communications, and the role technology plays in building that trust. The two organizations partner to serve and empower survivors of child sex trafficking in America with private, secure communication technology. Over the course of their conversation, Brittany and Galina discuss how to build trust with survivors using communication technologies, how COVID-19 and other global crises impact our trust in communications and how to support those in need during this time, and more. Play the recording above for the full conversation or keep reading for some key highlights.
On Using Technology to Give Survivors Control
Many of the survivors that Safe House Project worked with met their first traffickers and developed relationships with them over messengers online, Brittany notes. So, understandably they’re hesitant to communicate using technology. “Often I hear from the survivors that they want the ability to share about what’s happened to them and not have to fear that it will be redistributed to people that they didn’t intend to hear their story,” Brittany said. That’s why it’s so important to work closely with them to rebuild their trust and use technology that will keep them safe. “I think that anything that we can do to return agency to survivors of human trafficking is critical,” says Brittany, “and it makes them feel empowered to know that people aren’t getting in [to their phones] to see their messages. It’s just another layer of them feeling like they’re taking back control something that was taken from them.”
On Trusting Global Communications
When it comes to communication, Brittany points out, security that protects people’s information as they communicate online is paramount, especially for people with family members all around the world. With today’s crisis, Galina notes security is even more relevant as people who are isolated or quarantined or healthcare workers who are at work need an easy way to communicate with their families or their patients. Brittany mentioned her own experience with military. “The fact that I can tell my husband a password to an account when he’s halfway around the world,” Brittany says, “and not worry about somebody and or personal information, that’s huge.” During a crisis, these kinds of communication that lets you hold sensitive conversations around the world is especially important.
On Supporting Those in Need During This Time
Now, more than ever, Safe House Project needs support. “Safe House Project serves these children in a residential program that’s helping them and putting them back on the road to recovery,” Brittany explains. “In the current climate, we have a challenge because we have members of our teams, including guardians, therapists, educators who can’t get to their safe houses for one reason or another. These are added costs as we work to create more ways to serve those who are in care. We are also seeing a rise in the number of survivors that are needing help.” When it comes to support, Brittany says, “we greatly appreciate anyone who can and will come alongside us to help meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations in our society and ensure that at the other end of this, they are here to celebrate all of us getting to come out of isolation and reenter society together.”
You can support the Safe House Project by donating here.
Click here to read an abridged transcript of the conversation.