Can the “sacred feminine” be restored when she has been sold, imprisoned, bound,
drugged, beaten to submission, starved, and raped over and over again with out
any words of love or praise? Can a girl who has been thrown away, abandoned in
the worst of all possible ways ever be able to trust the loving gaze of another? Can
her body ever receive a warm embrace and gentle touch meant to soothe instead of
harm? Can a girl taught she is nothing other than a vessel to satisfy the desires of
men ever believe that that same body can hold a growing child, birth a new life and
sustain her with the sweet milk of her very own breast? Or has her body been so
ravaged by disease, mutilations, and botched abortions that the hope of ever having
her own child is nonexistent?
Abandonment and abuse of this kind is the most horrendous and inhuman act of all,
stripping the girl from the very essence of her inherent sacred being, her birthright.
Leaving behind an empty hopeless shell, a body that can’t even feel or experience
life’s real pleasures, a heart that has closed shut to love and trust, because that is the
only way she knows how to survive.
During the making of this project many people have asked me, “what will you be
doing in Cambodia with these girls.” The standard answer to this question is easy
to express. “We will be working with both the Transition’s clinical and training
staff to share art therapy skills to aid toward the healing of trauma and also to bring
awareness to the wide spread devastation that sex trafficking is leaving in it’s wake.
We have specific interventions that we will share with the staff and the girls in
order to empower them through the language of art. We will hopefully be able
to offer useful skills that will not only allow the girls to express the unspeakable
through imagery but also give them art skills that will instill a sense of pride and
accomplishment in making something beautiful and praiseworthy with their hands.
But really, I think our mission is to look for the lost connection to the sacred
feminine that I imagine we will see in the eyes of these girls. To do what we can do,
and have been trained to do as transpersonal therapists. And that is to just sit with,
hold the pain, offer a truly compassionate gaze letting them know we see the light in
them and trust it can burn strong again, ignited by the creative feminine, even if just
for a moment. In these moments we find mutual healing and deepened compassion, remembering we have all walked powerfully unique paths towards hope and wholeness.
– Sue Wallingford, NCAS-I Faculty Leader