July 28, 2023
Hi, friend. If you’re here, it’s likely because for some reason, the NSN is not the best container for the work you need and want to do at this time. You might be here because your application for membership was not accepted, or because your membership was paused or terminated for violations of our Expectations for How We Show Up. No matter what, please know that whether or not you are a member of the NSN is not an indicator of your worth as a person or your value as an advocate. We are working for a more inclusive anti-trafficking movement overall, and that includes being grateful for survivor advocates who are not members of the NSN as well! We hope that if you’re in a place in the future where you feel more aligned with our work, you may consider re-applying. We recognize that all of us (our network included) are in process, and welcome growth and meaningful change.
In any case, some of the most common reasons the NSN is not a good container for the work our applicants are doing are listed at the link below, with potential resources that may support you in the next steps of your journey.
Concerns around partial criminalization of the sex trades.
Often, applicants may be early in their journey of developing nonjudgment around consenting adults’ sexual choices, or may still be unpacking some common anti-trafficking framings of sex work by adults. Because survivors who support sex worker safety are so powerfully discriminated against, attacked, or invalidated by anti-trafficking advocates, they do not have many safe-enough spaces to do their anti-exploitation advocacy. Our commitment to ensuring their safety in our space means we are careful to only admit new members who are already on the journey to unlearning some of the biased and harmful language and frameworks that are commonly weaponized to silence these survivors. We’ love to continue to be a resource for you as you continue to explore this! Please consider checking out our YouTube playlist on Safety in the Sex Trades (particularly our Radical Nonjudgment panel discussion).
Concerns around labor trafficking.
Occasionally survivors of trafficking in the sex trades will apply, and are not yet in a place where they fully appreciate the importance of addressing labor trafficking. While sex trafficking survivors are largely marginalized in our general society, they do hold privilege in the anti-trafficking survivor movement, and we expect them to use that privilege for building collective power that includes all survivors. Consider listening to this podcast on The Human Cost of Labor Trafficking or reading this article called The Pied Piper of North Carolina to start learning more.
Concerns around your current level of support and readiness for community accountability.
This work is hard! Being in movement spaces is tough. Interacting with other trauma survivors while managing your own trauma responses is hard. Working in a nonprofit sector that is not always prioritizing impacted communities’ needs can leave you feeling continually gaslit. While we work hard to mitigate these impacts, the reality is not everyone is able to do this work without extensive support. Because of the nature of our work (we are a professional/organizing membership community for folks doing or ready to do this work), we do not provide clinical services or support for members. Because we are committed to preventing harm in our spaces, we want to make sure that folks who come into our community are able to navigate boundaries without causing harm to themselves or others, and are willing to learn to receive information about when they’ve caused harm. For support, please check out our Get Help page, or our resources for navigating workplace conflict, boundaries and workplace trauma, and community accountability.
Concerns around implicit racial or gender bias.