Human Trafficking Victim Gets New Life and Thrives

Episode 7 | 12.5.22

Human Trafficking Victim Gets New Life and Thrives

Episode 7 | 12.5.22

Tell Me What Happened, an OnStar podcast

Sensitive content warning: This episode discusses human trafficking, mental health and suicide.


Suamhirs was only a teenager when he was abducted and forced into sex trafficking. Since being saved, he has used his experience to change the lives of others.

 

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Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman was working at a job he loved, making enough money to provide for his family. At just 14, he was the father figure in his home in Honduras. One night after work he was abducted and smuggled into the United States. He was sold into sexual exploitation. For months he was tortured, beaten, drugged, starved and raped.

 

But he was rescued.

 

Sabrina Goosby took Suamhirs under her wing and taught him how to use his experiences to change the lives of others. As an adult, he has become an advocate for those suffering and was enlisted by former President Barack Obama to find real solutions.

 

We also speak to Dr. Minh Dang, executive director of Survivor Alliance, to hear about the types of human trafficking, how to respond to an industry that affects people worldwide, and what you should and shouldn’t do if you think someone may need help.

Download the full transcript of this episode to dive deeper into the story.

Who's in this episode?

Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman

Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman, LCP, MPsy, is the head of programs at Survivor Alliance. Prior to joining Survivor Alliance, Suamhirs oversaw the Mental Illness and Drug Dependency unit at the King County Department of Community and Human Services, the largest publicly funded behavioral health system in the county. He also has years of experience developing curriculum and providing training on trauma-informed care, mental health, human trafficking, evidence-based practices and more to child welfare systems and nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and the world. In 2015, Suamhirs was appointed by then-President Barack Obama to the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. And in 2020, he was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.

Sabrina Goosby

Sabrina serves as the vice president of programs for Voices for Children. She began her career at Voices for Children in 1988 and has since held a wide range of roles providing dedicated service to children in foster care. In her current role, she oversees volunteer recruitment and training, children’s activities and events, and community partnerships. Sabrina has cultivated deep and lasting relationships with countless community partners, volunteers and youth throughout her decades of service to children in San Diego County. She also oversees the organization’s Children’s Assistance Fund, working tirelessly to prioritize and meet the tangible needs of our children. One of Sabrina’s proudest accomplishments has been the development of the Real Word, a panel which gives current or former foster youth the opportunity to speak about their experiences and educate the community about foster care. This accomplished panel has been recognized at the local, state and national levels for its incredible insights and advocacy.

Dr. Minh Dang

Minh Dang, MSW, PhD, is the executive director of Survivor Alliance, an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) that empowers survivors to be leaders in their own communities. She is also a research fellow and lead in survivor wellbeing and scholarship at the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab. Minh is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and a proud two-time UC Berkeley alumna. Minh earned her bachelor’s in sociology and master’s in social welfare with an emphasis on community mental health. Minh is an avid backpacker, poet and runner. She is a fan of farmers markets, loves to sing and is a true love warrior. You will rarely find her without a journal or sticky notes, and she hopes to one day launch a stationery line called Minhspiration.

Who's in this episode?

Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman

Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman, LCP, MPsy, is the head of programs at Survivor Alliance. Prior to joining Survivor Alliance, Suamhirs oversaw the Mental Illness and Drug Dependency unit at the King County Department of Community and Human Services, the largest publicly funded behavioral health system in the county. He also has years of experience developing curriculum and providing training on trauma-informed care, mental health, human trafficking, evidence-based practices and more to child welfare systems and nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and the world. In 2015, Suamhirs was appointed by then-President Barack Obama to the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. And in 2020, he was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.

Sabrina Goosby

Sabrina serves as the vice president of programs for Voices for Children. She began her career at Voices for Children in 1988 and has since held a wide range of roles providing dedicated service to children in foster care. In her current role, she oversees volunteer recruitment and training, children’s activities and events, and community partnerships. Sabrina has cultivated deep and lasting relationships with countless community partners, volunteers and youth throughout her decades of service to children in San Diego County. She also oversees the organization’s Children’s Assistance Fund, working tirelessly to prioritize and meet the tangible needs of our children. One of Sabrina’s proudest accomplishments has been the development of the Real Word, a panel which gives current or former foster youth the opportunity to speak about their experiences and educate the community about foster care. This accomplished panel has been recognized at the local, state and national levels for its incredible insights and advocacy.

Dr. Minh Dang

Minh Dang, MSW, PhD, is the executive director of Survivor Alliance, an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) that empowers survivors to be leaders in their own communities. She is also a research fellow and lead in survivor wellbeing and scholarship at the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab. Minh is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and a proud two-time UC Berkeley alumna. Minh earned her bachelor’s in sociology and master’s in social welfare with an emphasis on community mental health. Minh is an avid backpacker, poet and runner. She is a fan of farmers markets, loves to sing and is a true love warrior. You will rarely find her without a journal or sticky notes, and she hopes to one day launch a stationery line called Minhspiration.

Woman sitting near vehicle

Helping Out

OnStar Member finds ways to help other motorists.

Woman sitting near vehicle

Helping Out

OnStar Member finds ways to help other motorists.

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