by Deanna Maria R.
In the BBC News, Outspiral, an organization that educates the community on human trafficking, child sexual exploitation, and trauma recovery, is run by a woman who overcame her own trauma to help others. She uses the medium of puppetry to not only tell her own story but to also help tell other’s stories while helping them to heal.
Looking at Raven Kaliana, you would never suspect the trauma she went through as a child, caused by her own family. After graduating, Raven moved to San Francisco and worked for Folkmanis Puppets. She became a professional puppeteer, which gave her an outlet to tell her story of trauma and betrayal. In 2008, Raven created a show called ‘Hooray for Hollywood’. Through the medium of puppetry, Raven told her story of having been trafficked for sexual exploitation, as a child, by her own family. She wanted to spread awareness about human trafficking to get people together to talk about the issue and create solutions so no one else had to go through what she did.
A teacher who cared, encouraged Raven to stay in school and upon entering university, she found a new support system. Her newfound support system helped her to cut herself off from her abusers and she was then able to escape. No longer in crisis mode, she now uses her skills in puppetry and her traumatic experience to help others heal and in the process, it continues to help her.