We envision these as an opportunity to inspire other survivors who may be struggling to heal see, by your example, what is possible and highlight survivor-led organizations in the human trafficking and other social services/social justice space.
Please keep to approximately 300 words.
If it is a personal profile, you do not have to use your real name, or any name.
We cannot include links or contact information to your organization.
We are happy to include your photo if you want, but it is not necessary.
If you would like to submit something but are not comfortable writing it, let us know and we will try to help via a mini “interview” – time permitting.
Arts and Letters
This is the work you have done and are doing. It can be about human trafficking, but it also can be about whatever you are proud of. This might include but is not limited to:
Photos of your artwork
Academic and research papers
Articles you have published
Hearing Our Voices
This gallery is meant to create a platform for you to speak out about things that are important to you in a fairly personal way. This doesn’t necessarily have to be about human trafficking specifically, but it should have some relation to areas that are related to human trafficking, human rights, and social justice. For example, immigration is a perfectly appropriate topic. Please do not submit, for example, your grocery list.
For example, you might submit:
An open letter to your trafficker, to the anti-human trafficking field, to your fellow survivors, to your children or parents, to law enforcement, to politicians or social workers, etc.
A blog post
An opinion piece
Text of a speech you have given
About the Process
Please do not submit information about an ongoing case or current situation through this form. If you are seeking assistance or want to discuss a case with the National Hotline, please contact us directly at 1-888-373-7888. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.
This is an experiment. Polaris has not done this before and we don’t know how much time it will take, and how will it go overall. We ask that you please bear with us. We know we will not make everyone happy. Here is how we think it will work:
- Submissions will be sent to Polaris.
- A small committee of Polaris staff will meet regularly to select content, which will be rotated every two months.
- All content will be archived when it is rotated off the site.
- Selections will be made with an eye toward:
Diversity of content.
Diversity of survivors represented.
Quality of content – we are not art critics or microbiologists but we will give preference to submissions that appear to have taken time and effort to create and showcase the strength, diversity, ferocity, complexity and power of the survivor community.
- Those whose content has been submitted will be notified within about a week of its’ being posted.
- We will also feature new content on our social media channels.
For far more details, please see the questions and answers below.
Questions and Answers
Does my content have to be about my trafficking experience, or about human trafficking at all?
No, though of course, it can be. We wish to help you make loud and clear, through this project, that survivors of human trafficking are not entirely defined by the experience.
What kind of material can I submit?
Below are some ideas of content. This is not exhaustive. Other ideas are welcome.
Book excerpts / overview
Survivor leader profiles
Is there any content you can’t accept?
Yes. We are unable to publish any submission that includes any of the following content:
Real names of anyone other than yourself, if you choose to use your own real name.
Details that would clearly identify a person being accused of a crime to others who know that person or situation, regardless of the use of actual names. For example, “my trafficker worked at this hotel, in this time frame, in this city, in this role ……” Changing details is fine.
Detailed, identifiable stories about real people who are not yourself.
Links to other sites.
Contact information of anyone, including yourself.
Content entirely unrelated to the mission of this project – your grocery list, for example.
Content that contains information about an ongoing trafficking case or current situation.
Content that contains graphic depictions or articulations of violence, harm, or abuse of a minor.
Do I have to use my real name?
No. You are welcome to submit your work under an assumed name or anonymously should you wish to do so. We ask only that you let us know if you are using an assumed name, so we can say so if we are able to use the content.
Can you link to my site?
No. Due to the diversity and volume of content, we are unable to link to external sites. If you are submitting content with the hope of generating funding, please be sure to reference your organization, you are also welcome to use language like “Our website has more information if you’d like to learn more about our work or are interested in making a donation to our organization, please visit our webpage.”
If you have concerns about visitors not being able to contact you regarding submissions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can brainstorm solutions.
Can you publish my contact information?
No. However, if people reach out to us regarding your submission and would like to get in contact with you, we’ll let you know and connect you if you would like us to.
What will happen to my content once I click submit?
Once you submit your content, it will be reviewed by our communications staff to ensure it does not violate our content restriction policy. All eligible content will then be timestamped and added to a database separated by content category for publication on our website. Your content might be published right away or it might be published down the line. We hope to be able to publish everything but we cannot make that promise. In an effort to publish as many submissions as possible, content will be rotated on a monthly basis. New content will be published every two months and previous content archived on the site. Your content will be kept indefinitely unless you request to withdraw it.
Does submitting content guarantee publishing on your website?
No. Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to guarantee publication on our website, however, we will do everything we can to publish all content that meets our content guidelines.
What is the selection process?
We endeavor to platform as diverse a set of high-quality content as possible from as diverse a range of survivors as possible.
Can you help me edit my work?
Maybe. That’s a pretty unsatisfying answer but it is the best we can do. It will depend on how many requests we get and how much time we have available. We would like to help if we can.
How many selections will be published each month?
We are not sure yet. We anticipate between five and ten.
How do you decide which pieces to display on top?
We display the work in alphabetical order of the last name of the survivor who submitted it. We strive to represent the full diversity of the survivor movement. The more work we get, the better we are able to do that while maintaining some basic system for displaying it all! In other words, send your stuff!
If my content wasn’t published right after I submitted it, does this mean it’s less likely to get published in the future?
No. Content that is appropriate will be placed in a queue for eventual publication at an appropriate time. There is no need to resubmit.
Can I submit more than one piece of content at a time or different content each month?
We will consider four submissions a year per individual survivor.
Will you let me know before you publish my content?
Yes, we will email you approximately a week before we are adding new content.
Can I take my content down if I change my mind after it has already been posted?
Yes. We will try to get content taken down upon request of submitter within 7-10 business days of receiving the request. We cannot promise this will always happen as quickly as we would like.
Why aren’t you paying me for my submission?
The purpose of the Survivor Gallery is to extend Polaris’s visibility and influence in the field to as many survivors as possible. In this regard, your submission will be compensated through greater access and reach to the anti-trafficking field and the communities across the nation. This is why we have few content restrictions and why we will rotate content on a regular basis. Think of this section of our website as your own blank canvas. What message have you been wanting to scream from the rooftops? What have you done that brings you pride and deserves to be recognized? What donor circles do you need access to and how can they support your work? Our goal is to give you a national platform to share your answers to all of these questions and more.
Does Polaris use this content for funding purposes?
No. Your submissions will never be used to generate funding for Polaris. We do hope, however, that it can help generate funding for your own organizations or consulting businesses should that apply to you.
Will I hear back from anyone? Who can I contact with questions and concerns?
We value each and every submission through the Survivor Gallery form. Due to the high volume of submissions, we are not able to respond to everyone who submits their content. If you have any additional questions or concerns about this form and/or the Survivor Gallery process, please send an email to email@example.com.
Who will read my content after I submit? Do I have control over who reads it?
Polaris staff will be tasked with reading and selecting content. We will not share non-published content outside the organization or widely within the organization. However, we cannot share the specific names of who will be selecting content and that may change over time.
Can I make changes to my content after I submit?
We will try to accommodate requests for changes to content but, as we state above, we just are not sure exactly how much capacity this will require. To make changes to your content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, you should expect to hear back within 5 – 7 days, although we cannot promise that will always be the case.
I felt really empowered by this process and want to do more. Are there other opportunities/ways for me to get involved?
Polaris also has regular consulting opportunities for survivors to inform our work. If you are interested in joining our consulting database please email email@example.com.