“We call it a ‘Positive Outcomes’ meeting, but it’s not really official or formal; all of us who work with human trafficking cases just like to get together over lunch and share the good things. It’s kind of nice, since there aren’t a lot of good things.”
This wasn’t an exaggeration. The women attending this meeting can fit the amount of “good things” that happen with their human trafficking cases on a single post-it note.
Even then, the content of those post-it notes isn’t as uplifting as you might hope. “Good things” include a child remembering their name, a run away teenager responding to a direct message on Instagram, and another child holding down a job for a week.
In total honesty, it was somewhat hard to sit through that meeting – to realize that even when these women carve out a space wholly dedicated to celebrating the positive results, a sense of sadness and fatigue slips in.
“It can be really rough,” they turned to me. “It’s rough.”
It was quiet for a moment.
“That’s why we are so lucky that you’re such an amazing Child Advocacy Manager,” another woman chimed in.
“Stop, you are definitely the best.”
“No, that’s you.”
“That child messaging you? That’s no small feat; she trusts you. That’s because of you.”
They all smiled to themselves, and something dawned on me. These women wanted to celebrate the positive results – they wanted to look toward something tangible and material – but it isn’t always totally possible; so they choose, every month, to celebrate each other.