At-risk and traumatized girls are a highly vulnerable population. Their world is getting more complex to navigate, and the stakes are unbelievably high.
CHD is committed to protecting the girls in our care, and in the care of professionals throughout the region. That is why we are convening the Through Her Eyes Girls Conference for the 15th year in a row.
Each year, the Through Her Eyes Girls Conference focuses on current methods and best practices for helping girls at home, in school, and in society face challenges from trauma, neglect, aggression, and addiction.
The conference features a keynote speaker, a lunchtime speaker, and breakout workshops run by notable professionals. The conference attracts over 500 professionals each year from throughout Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, including educators, care providers, and social workers. It also engages key educational institutions, agencies, and provider organizations in dialogue about how best to serve and support the front line staff in this critical work.
CHD’s Through Her Eyes Girls Conference contributes to the health and wellness of these vulnerable young people, by investing time, energy, and resources in educating the support network of providers that they will turn to in times of crisis.
Thank you for all you do to help improve the lives of at risk girls and young women in our community.
For more information, please email ThroughHerEyes@chd.org.
Judge Xiomara Torres was born in El Salvador and escaped a civil war at 9 years old, crossing into the United States with her mother and siblings with the help of a human trafficker.
At 13, she had the courage to report sexual abuse by a family member. The disclosure resulted in her placement in foster care, where she bounced from home to home until she was 18. Despite the trials of her youth, Torres ultimately put herself through the University of California, Berkeley and Lewis & Clark Law School, became an American citizen, and was appointed to the bench in Multnomah County, Oregon in 2017.
Today, Judge Torres presides over family law cases including instances of domestic violence, child abuse and separation. She will join us to share how she has been able to use her seat on the bench — and at the table — to make a difference in the lives of children in her community.
“It’s very important for society to see these very strong women speaking out … to see these women who succeed in their careers, succeed in motherhood,” said Torres. “It changes the perspective from ‘victim’ to ‘you are someone who has overcome.’”
Nikki Bell is the Founder and CEO of Living In Freedom Together (LIFT), a survivor-led organization in Worcester comprised of those who have overcome commercial sexual exploitation (CSE), and professionals sensitive to the needs of this vulnerable and marginalized population. Their mission is to provide resources, advocacy, and support to empower women to escape and recover from the impacts of CSE, and to end prostitution.
“Most women in the sex trade have experienced significant trauma as children; most have been involved in prostitution before they were even old enough to consent to sex, never mind to be sold for sex,” Bell said.
“The beautiful piece of it was that the majority of our volunteers were survivors in recovery. So, without forcing what we thought they needed, we were already providing hope that there was a way out just by ‘being.’ We wanted them to know that they were loved, we were there to support them, and they began to trust that if they wanted help in that moment we would help them, whatever that help might look like.”