The Reality of Human Trafficking and Overcoming Trauma with Vanessa McNeal #70

Vanessa McNeal is an inspiring national speaker and award winning documentary filmmaker. From a young age she has worked to overcome her own traumas of sexual assault and seeks to aid other survivors in their journey to recovery. Vanessa has appeared on two Tedx Talks and encourages others to speak out about their personal stories.

Her recent documentary “Gridshock”, which has won two awards for its thought-provoking and raw content, explores the gruesome reality behind the sex trafficking industry in the state of Iowa. “Gridshock” delves into why this culture is rampant in our societies and what can be done to help deter the sex trafficking industry that exists so close to home.

Vanessa has given hope and motivation to sexual abuse survivors from all over to find their support system and to no longer feel the need to hide their past from the world. She continues to work with the concepts of compassion, forgiveness and mercy when dealing with past traumas and how survivors can turn parts of their grief into strength.

In this episode we will discuss:

Overcoming sexual abuse

Human trafficking in Iowa

Finding the courage to share stories of sexual assault

Learning how to heal from past traumas

Forgiveness and showing compassion to attackers

Letting go of resentment and anger

Stepping outside of your comfort zone to address personal issues


“What’s hidden cannot be healed.”

“Pain is a lack of understanding.”

“You extend mercy not because people deserve it... but its helped me heal, its helped me find peace and essentially be where I am at today.”

Links: Vanessa McNeal website:

Vanessa McNeal Twitter:

Vanessa McNeal YouTube:

Vanessa McNeal Tedx Talks:

“Gridshock” documentary website:

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