A Survivor Speaks Out

Eradicating trafficking both here and across the world

By Sue Baldani

Andi Buerger, JD, founder of Voices Against Trafficking in January 2020, has a passion for helping those who have been trafficked. She can well understand their devastating ordeals since she experienced them herself.

“My voice as a survivor is important and has some influence, but what if we had more voices?” she says. “That’s the idea behind Voices Against Trafficking.”

While Voices is a national and international presence, it’s heavily vested in a regional presence here in Central Oregon. “We’re not political or religious,” says Andi. “We’re a human rights organization focused on getting the best information, the best ideas, and the best strategies out there to combatting trafficking in our neighborhoods.”

Voices produces and creates free international antitrafficking forums every quarter, which can be seen on Facebook and YouTube. “We talk about ways to divert predators, whether it’s by prevention, education, or awareness,” she says.

Andi also just published a book, Voices Against Trafficking – The Strength of Many Voices Speaking As One. “It’s another tool for awareness, prevention, and education and to inspire action.”

The nonprofit has a campaign going on right now. It’s looking for donations to get this book to every member of Congress, every governor and every attorney general.

Another way to help is to visit its website and click on “Add My Voice.” “Anybody anywhere in the world can add their voice to our roster for free,” says Andi. “We want to get a million names by the end of summer 2023. We can then take those names and continue to influence legislation against trafficking.”

An additional way people can support Voices is by joining one of its memberships, which helps keep its programs going, which is critical. “One of the other reasons I speak and do interviews is because I want people to know there’s hope,” she says. “If someone like me can make it, then really anyone can.”

To find out more, go to voicesagainsttrafficking.com, and if you need help for yourself or others, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text INFO or HELP to BeFree (233733).

Written for Bend Lifestyle magazine in Oregon.

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