A Road Back from Walking the Streets
Pope compares the Women's Court to his previous work on the Fifteenth District's Sobriety Court, which gives drunk drivers a chance to enter treatment. Pope says the new court is an "opportunity" to do similar work with "a population that has been not ignored, but very, very, underserved ... They're the ones that have to do all the heavy lifting and make it work for themselves. But it's a very, very gratifying thing when you see it happen."
Linguidi says that while Washtenaw County is "taking steps" to improve the way it handles trafficking, there's still a long way to go. While working a day job as a nanny, she's become an advocate for trafficking victims. She's a member of Michigan State University's Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, and she's also writing a book about her story. After years of struggling with self-harm and trouble forming healthy relationships, she's found support and stability at her church, Harvest Mission, and as an activist speaking out against trafficking.
Linguidi considers herself not just a survivor, but a "thriver." But she says the memories of her ordeal are never going away. "Those are images that are somehow burned into your brain," she says. "Screams--your own screams or your own silence--those things are etched into your memory forever."
[Originally published in April, 2014.]