By: Tia-Janae Johnson, Survivor Advocate
In November of 2017, while living in Oregon, I was invited by a woman named Kimberly Brune to go on a 6-month mission trip to Cape Town South Africa to fight against human trafficking. This opportunity stirred up many emotions inside me, leading to the realization that fighting trafficking was my calling.
After living in Oregon for two years, I moved back to my hometown in Wisconsin where I had family, some very good friends, and connections with people who were also fighting trafficking. In 2011, I had attended one of Fierce Freedom’s first events hosted by Harvestime Church. During the presentation, myself and a few others were asked by the presenter, Dave Malone, if we would be willing to share what brought us to the event. I shared parts of my own story with the group that opened many eyes in the room; trafficking does in fact occur right here in our town in ways not commonly projected. This sparked a very special relationship between me and Fierce Freedom Co-Founder and Executive Director Jenny Almquist. Jenny was able to pour into me while building a trusting, real, loving relationship with me over the next five years.
Once I moved home I couldn’t stop thinking about the issue of trafficking in my own hometown. I had a passion to advocate for the women in my community- those who are being overlooked, who don’t feel worthy, and who need a way out and someone to care. In my position as a Survivor Advocate, I hope to bring to the table an experienced, keen eye and a genuine connection with the victims that Fierce Freedom fights for.