Survivor Educators

TIMEA E.
NAGY

Timea E. Nagy is a best selling author, internationally recognized human rights activist and entrepreneur who came to Canada, from Hungary, Budapest at the age of 21 to work a summer position as a nanny or general worker in order to keep her family from losing their home. Ms. Nagy’s employers turned out to be an international human trafficking ring, and she became a victim of international sex trafficking for 3 months. With the help of Canadians, she escaped but returning home to Budapest for the long term was not a safe option.


Ms. Nagy settled in Canada and started her new life. 10 years after her experience she started sharing her story with law enforcement and became one of the best known Canadian survivor speakers in the public sector. In 2009, she founded Walk With Me Canada Victim Services, Canada’s first 24/7 mobile victim care unit working closely with police assisting victims of sex trafficking. In 2010, she opened Canada’s first safe house for sex trafficked victims. The organization worked on the largest cases to date and assisted over 400 victims. Walk With Me closed down in 2015, and Ms. Nagy started a for-profit social enterprise, Timea’s Cause Inc., a corporation committed to education and public awareness while offering employment and second chances for survivors. Timea’s Cause has received  global attention and was the first survivor-led educator to educate the financial sector about human trafficking.


Ms. Nagy has inspired and created numerous national, international and global initiatives. She was also a Commissioner from 2018-2019 on The Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, a UN initiative. She is an active council member on the International Survivors of Trafficking Advisory Council (ISTAC), launched by the OSCE Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Europe.

Her Memoir, Out of the Shadows, published in 2019 by Penguin Random House Canada, became an instant bestseller. Ms. Nagy has received recognitions from Queen Elizabeth II, the Governor General of Canada, the Prime Minister of Canada, and the Attorney General of Ontario just to name a few.


Despite the fact that she has shared her story thousands of times, she is still excited to meet each audience and remains very passionate about offering any insight that helps people understand the crime that nearly took her life. 
 

KAITLIN
BICK

Kaitlin Bick is a survivor of domestic sex trafficking. She is a former substance user who uses both her lived and professional experience to support and advocate for others. Kaitlin recently completed her Advanced Counselling Certificate at George Brown College.

 

For the past four years, Kaitlin has worked on the frontline with survivors of human trafficking and precariously-housed individuals, ensuring that all their basic needs are being met. She uses her enthusiasm, positivity, and resilience to deliver a message of hope to other survivors and those who are struggling.

 

Kaitlin facilitates workshops and training to service providers and is dedicated to bringing awareness to domestic human trafficking and ending homelessness.

AMANDA
DAVIS

Amanda Davis is a family woman with a fierce yet abundant love for God, a passion for helping others, and for trauma healing and prevention. She has an amazing husband, two beautiful girls and three fur babies. Amanda brings her first-hand knowledge as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, human trafficking and captivity as a young adult, to her work with TC Online Institute. It is in her heart to serve and she works hard to have a presence in her community. Amanda is currently writing a book to share her story. She hopes to shine a light at the end of the tunnel to others, to show them that they are survivors and can heal too.

 

She currently works as a veterinary technician's assistant as she pursues her degree in Psychology; she believes that helping fur babies serves as a healing tool in her continual journey. She aspires to be a Christian counsellor majoring in trauma healing and substance abuse counselling.  Amanda is also certified in fitness training and nutrition. She has a passion for health and believes that a healthy body combined with a healthy mind and centred spirit is the recipe for self-love and true healing. Her desire is to strengthen community awareness. She hopes that will help to create prevention through accountability and aid in reducing exposure of our at-risk children and adults.

JESSICA
DESMOND

Jessica Desmond (Indigenous name:  Aki’Kwe), a survivor turned crusader, is a knowledge carrier of human trafficking, with first-hand knowledge of how to keep girls safe. Employed at WomenatthecentrE & Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition in public relations, she has been a keynote speaker at human trafficking seminars and conferences, and she also teaches occasionally at universities First Nation Communities, and other organizations.  

Jessica has participated in round table discussions with stakeholders and policy makers (e.g., at the Ontario legislature and the United Nations).  

Jessica has called for more supports for women transitioning out of the trafficked life, as well as a national action plan to be put in place immediately to stop trafficking. She also testified at the MMIW Inquiry and helps raise awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).  

Jessica envisions several “ends” -- an end to MMIWIG, an end to the Indian Act, an end to Indigenous children being stolen, and an end to Indigenous people straying from their sacred way of life.  

“Silence = violence, and we must be idle no more.”  

RACHEL
FISCHER

A native from Detroit, Michigan, Rachel Fischer is a survivor leader with a B.S. in Nursing specializing in ER and Forensics. Rachel’s forensic expertise includes but is not limited to: Domestic Violence, Strangulation, Child and Elder Abuse, Sexual Assault, Forensic Evaluation of Gunshot Wounds and Human Trafficking. Rachel began her speaking career in 2013 when she published her autobiography, Taking Back the Pen. She has been to several countries doing research and undercover mission work collecting intelligence from pimps and trafficked victims and has undertaken rescue operations in retrieval of missing children. She testifies in state and federal court as an expert and does legal nurse consulting for both the prosecution and the defence as well as civil attorneys. Rachel trains legal and judicial staff on trafficking.  

 

Rachel consults with governmental and non-governmental agencies statewide and international formulating action plans to fight trafficking’s supply and demand. She trains officers on insider investigation tips and trains healthcare professionals on identification of victims using verbal and non-verbal cues. She gives tips on rapport building and post discharge recommendations with a medical mindset to address the “what’s next” question after identification. Rachel also trains school administrations, teachers, parents and students on social media trends and how to keep kids safe in the digital age. Her knowledge will awaken and broaden your current knowledge base to highlight the difference you can make in the phenomena of trafficking in your community. She will discuss how you can be a part of multidisciplinary team approaches helping to meet the needs of these victims and other victims of violence that are not being cared for properly in order to bring justice to families and hold predators and offenders accountable.

RAYANNE
IRVING

Sex Trafficked Metis Girl. Champion Cowgirl. Muay Thai Kickboxer. Practising Student of Neuroenergetics & Integrative Neurocardiology Kinesiology + Applied Physiology. Freelance Writer. Content Editor. Author. Speaker. Podcast Host of Focus Forward. Traveller. Mentor. Educator.

 

Ms Rayanne K. Irving is an outlier. Sex Trafficked at the age of 16 by multiple parties such as gangs, pimps and madams, Rayanne made her daring escape with the help of a youth outreach worker in 1998. Upon her exit from exploitation, Rayanne was denied essential medical and mental assistance by law enforcement, doctors and family. Branded by stigmatism, blame and shame, Rayanne took control of her life as the days, weeks and years filled with struggles and triumphs. Wreckages and Adventure, creating a blueprint for resilience that she loves to share with others.

 

Rayanne's objective is to utilize her lived experience in gang and pimp-controlled environments, with an emphasis on survival patterns and habits created by epigenetics, behavioural patterns, generational trauma, environmental factors, and much, much more to effectively bridge the gap between our most vulnerable populations and their allies while expanding community collaboration, understanding, and connection with government and law enforcement.

 

As a professional horse trainer, Muay Thai kickboxer and all-around athlete, Rayanne learned the value of moving mediation, the art of being present, how to be a team player, the mindset of discipline and the healing energy of gallows humour.

 

As a Bioenergetic Wellness Consultant, 2015 to present also known as Specialized Kinesiology (Brain Integration), Rayanne has completed 400+ hours of intensive instruction in the application of Applied Physiology and the Anatomy and Physiology of the Brain. Based on the hierarchy of brain function involved with the learning process, LEAP and NEPS have been recommended by psychologists, teachers, and other health care professionals worldwide because it consistently produces improvements measurable by standard psychological tests. With 1200 Hours of Applied hours as a Practicing Student, her Certifications include but are not limited to LEAP, NEPS, SIPS, AWE, TF, STB, R.

 

Rayanne's dedication to self-care techniques & burnout prevention empowers her to educate and support those who have experienced sex trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and exploitation.

 

In her time as a leader, Rayanne has instigated policy change, hosted and facilitated community discussions worldwide around the topic of survivor aftercare and best practices, collaborated, educated and implemented programming with community stakeholders worldwide, sparking deeper conversation with schools, medical professionals, parents and youth on ways to recognize, report, advocate, ally and heal from exploitation and HST. In addition, Rayanne's vast knowledge of adolescent development and issues related to homeless youth, cultural sensitivity and community relations has allowed her to supply families with choices and alternatives for healthy coping outlets for their children.

REGINA LEE JONES

Regina Lee Jones is a survivor of sex trafficking when she was a youth. Originally from Estonia, Regina speaks both, Estonian and Russian. From 2005 onwards, Regina lived in Norway with Norwegian citizenship. She is 40 years old and a proud mom of three.
 
In 2020 she got her bachelor's degree in Cognitive Psychology. Today she is taking education in two directions: Psychology with an emphasis on Behavioural Analysis, and Digital Forensics. Besides her education, Regina is passionate about the fight against human trafficking, with the biggest focus on youth. She started her own company called KelRa Team, with a goal to operate in several streams. Currently the business’ starting points include writing and giving out books and consultations on human trafficking.
 
Regina is constantly surprised by how much we are surrounded by human trafficking related crimes, and further surprised that people still doubt the crime still exists. Each story of a survivor shows the depth of atrocities they have gone through. Her goal is to do her best to share and teach as much as possible, and to work on the prevention of this crime and its consequences.

TAMAS
MIKO

Tamas Miko is a human trafficking survivor, social advocate, and speaker who immigrated to Canada in 2009 from Hungary. As a Consultant at TC Online Institute by Timea’s Cause Inc., he looks forward to widening and sharing his knowledge and lived experience about the importance of ending human trafficking. He was kept locked up in a basement with six other men while being monitored 24/7, and forced to work in the construction industry 14 to 16 hours a day for no pay. Thankfully, he managed to escape with the help of the R.C.M.P. in 2010.

 

After 10 years, he has learned a new language, studied journalism, and won an award for news photography. He has been involved in public speaking over the past few years and wishes to educate the public on the seriousness of human trafficking. He has been educating service providers and law enforcement in Canada since 2016.

 

He looks forward to working towards a brighter and safer future; he wants to help as many victims as possible, and guide survivors in their journey of healing their trauma.

EMILY
O'BRIEN

Emily O’Brien is the founder of Comeback Snacks Popcorn Company. It all started when she went to prison. Before, Emily was an entrepreneur and social media professional, having created her own firm at a young age which enjoyed great success. Regrettably, addiction caused her to make some poor choices that culminated in a four-year jail term. As her sentence began, Emily made it her mission to transform herself, get clean, and make a positive difference during her term. “I didn’t know how I’d make a difference at the time, but I knew I would find something I cared about that would benefit from a purpose-driven facelift.”

 

Thus, Comeback Snacks (formerly known as Cons and Kernels) was born. Upon her release, Emily made the decision to start a popcorn company that used high quality, health-conscious ingredients to create unique flavours inspired by the ones she found in prison; a fun, self-deprecating brand that would also help to remove the stigma around people who had prior convictions and provide newly-released offenders with the chance at a fresh start through training, empowerment, and education.

ELIZABETH
QUIROZ

Elizabeth Quiroz is a graduate of Sonoma State University, where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology with distinction. Currently, she is a student at Arizona State University, working towards a Master's Degree in Social Justice and Human Rights. Her goal is to become a policymaker where she can help make a positive impact on the lives of those transitioning through the justice system. As Elizabeth pursues this goal, she also serves as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counsellor at Athena House Residential Treatment Center for women in Santa Rosa, California, and she serves as a human trafficking victim advocate. 

Elizabeth's passion for helping victims of human sex trafficking has led her to co-found a nonprofit organization that will open a safe-house for human trafficking victims here in Sonoma County called Redemption House of The Bay Area.  Elizabeth does all of this while working with her husband, José "Mico" Quiroz to raise their children, and working to raise awareness about human trafficking and its long-term impact on the lives of girls and women in communities across the country.

Elizabeth's passion and determination were fuelled by a desire to atone for what she describes as mistakes of her past. These mistakes include past drug use, multiple arrests, and incarcerations. But, she has come to realize that these mistakes were a product of her childhood years surrounded by alcoholism, addiction, and being the victim of abuse.  Elizabeth was the victim of a broken foster-care system that focused on her negative behaviour while missing signs of abuse and trauma. Elizabeth soon found herself trapped in an abusive relationship, the victim of human trafficking, moving from the foster care system to the juvenile justice system, and on to the jail and prison systems.

Elizabeth dropped out of high school to run away from her problems. She developed a drug addiction, and by age fifteen, she found herself trapped in human sex trafficking and abusive relationships. By age sixteen, she committed a robbery under the control of her trafficker. She was arrested and placed in Juvenile Hall and later transferred to a group home facility in Sacramento, California. She soon became an adult and continued her life of drug addiction and crime while being controlled by her trafficker. Elizabeth was now spending time in and out of the county jail and state prison systems.

In 2011, at age twenty-six, Elizabeth was arrested; this time, she promised herself it would be the last time. She had just given birth to a new baby boy and was determined to turn her life around by getting out from under her trafficker. While incarcerated, Elizabeth took classes and received her GED and completed Starting Point, an in-custody drug treatment program. Upon her release, she attended the Women's Recovery Services, a one-year residential treatment program. It was there that she decided she wanted to save lives by helping those still sick with addiction and those in bondages of human sex trafficking. This desire to help young women at risk is what motivated Elizabeth to go to college.

After completing the Women's Recovery Services program and receiving a certificate, Elizabeth enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC), where she graduated with honours,  earning three Associate of Arts degrees in Social Advocacy, Behavioural Science, and Human Services. 

Elizabeth's service to the community began upon her enrolment at SRJC, volunteering for the Bear Cub Scholar Program for foster youth. She soon became President of the Second Chance Club, an onsite support program for formerly incarcerated students.
   
On Christmas Eve 2018, Elizabeth received an Unconditional Governor's Pardon from Governor Jerry Brown through the support of numerous community leaders.


Elizabeth is a sought after speaker and presents on various topics, including Criminal Records Expungement, Addiction Recovery, and Human Trafficking. Among her audiences are; Sonoma County Jail GED graduates, female inmates at Folsom State Prison, the California Violence Prevention Network annual conference, the Placerville Summitview Child and Family Services, Lake County Tribal Health, the San Mateo women's correctional facility, the 2019 SRJC Latinx graduation, and more recently was a keynote speaker at the Santa Rosa Junior College President's Address to the Community. She has also presented at events including the SRJC Human Trafficking Awareness and Women's History Month events. As a mentor, Elizabeth works with at-risk youth from multiple organizations including, Seneca, Valley of the Moon, and Juvenile Probation.


Elizabeth is evolving as a strong community leader and advocate. She currently serves as a member of the Sonoma County Human Trafficking Task Force, and founded and co-facilitates Sonoma County's first Human Trafficking support group for victims and survivors. Elizabeth coordinates a monthly street outreach program for human trafficking victims, working to provide them a path to exit the control of their perpetrators safely. To support these efforts, Elizabeth is the Co-Founder of Redemption House of The Bay Area and is working towards building a nonprofit organization to help human trafficking victims by providing them a safe place to live while recovering and healing from their traumatic past.

Recognition for Service


Elizabeth is a recipient of several recognitions including, the 2019 American Red Cross Humanitarian Hero Award, the 2019 Achievement, and Community Service Award from the Sonoma County Lowrider Council, May 2019, and was selected as one of the 2019 Faces of SSU, a project at Sonoma State University recognizing students for sharing their unique story and their on-campus leadership and contributions to the campus community.

SANDY
STORM

Sandy Storm is an Author, Speaker and Abolitionist, currently serving as General Advisor to DeliverFund, a nonprofit, private intelligence firm that is focused on ending human trafficking. Through target-centric methodologies, DeliverFund analysts pull from the training, resources and experience in Special Operations and working with the CIA to train, equip and advise local law enforcement to hunt, arrest and prosecute traffickers and rescue the victims of this horrific crime.

 

Herself a child sex trafficking survivor, Sandy has served on coalitions, task forces and multidisciplinary teams addressing human trafficking since 2009. She is a trusted advisor and trainer for law enforcement, medical and education professionals, service providers and concerned citizens, addressing groups ranging in size from 5 to over 5,000. Sandy is a published author, having written a trilogy about her experiences with child abuse, human trafficking, and the industry of commercial sexual exploitation. Quickly selling thousands of copies of her first two books, Becoming Navi and Hello Navi, readers happily welcomed the third book in the series, Goodbye Navi, in December 2020.

 

Sandy always shares a message of hope, healing, and restoration and has experienced a powerful transformation, now living what can only be described as a brand new life.

SHARMILA
WIJEYAKUMAR

Sri Lankan by ethnic origin, British by birth, Sharmila Wijeyakumar has lived between North America and Europe for the last 21 years. As a Survivor of human trafficking, part of her journey to healing from this atrocity was acquiring faith in Jesus Christ and a passion to do something about this issue.

 

She first fought human trafficking with Pro Nino where they reduced the rate of child trafficking by 49% in 13 Spanish speaking countries in the early 2000s. This led Sharmila to establish Rahab's Daughters, a non-profit that fights to prevent human trafficking, but also to rescue, and rehabilitate survivors of trafficking.

 

She serves alongside her husband of 21 years and daughter to prevent trafficking; as well as rescue and rehabilitation. Sharmila leads over 200 volunteers and employees across six states. Today, as well as leading her non-profit, Sharmila works in the high tech world of digital transformation, data science, business intelligence and digital marketing for Veriday, a software and professional services company. She serves enterprise organizations with the help of an amazing team. Sharmila is blessed to have the support and freedom to balance her faith, family, vocation, and passion.