Holistic Restoration (For Survivors and Buyers)

Others, Exploitation , Trafficking

Contributed by: Hope Restored

What does holistic restoration mean? What does it look like? And what is required in its pursuit? 

These are questions we work to address at Hope Restored Canada, and our focus for November is the topic of Holistic Restoration. We believe that this is essential to address for both the survivors of sexual exploitation AND those who participate in the demand that fuels the sex industry. 


Restoration begins in the heart; it is the journey of renewal and transformation from brokenness to wholeness.”


Restoration requires seeing each individual as their whole selves, considering their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual natures. We believe that complete and whole restoration is not possible unless each of these aspects is addressed for each individual. The care that individuals receive as they journey towards holistic restoration must be as unique as they are. This might look like mentorship, housing options, and various practical supports. 

The Canadian Women’s Foundation’s Report of the National Task Force on Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada envisions a comprehensive and robust strategy for the ending of sex trafficking within Canada. 



Holistic restoration is an integral aspect of putting an end to sex trafficking, in partnership with strategies of systematic changes, addressing both push and pull factors involved in sexual exploitation, intervention, support, and awareness and education. HRC incorporates holistic restoration as the “H” in our H. O. P. E. model, along with outreach, partnership, and education. 

Specific steps have been identified for what will be required to abolish sex trafficking in Canada. Within Saskatchewan, Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership’s Supported Housing for Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking in Saskatchewan: A Need and Demand Assessment  commissioned by Hope Restored Canada, discovered that “the current housing market, shelter system, and nature of transitional housing in Saskatchewan’s urban centres do not fully accommodate women and girls who are at-risk or victims of the crime. Efforts are necessary to create more housing initiatives that are fully inclusive to the needs of victims in order to support healthy choices and fulfilling lives.” HRC is passionate about responding to this identified need and is currently developing the first Phase of a housing initiative within the Saskatoon region. 

Of course, there can be significant challenges and obstacles to the pursuit of holistic restoration. Gene McConnell states that “shame is the biggest sabotager of healing. You cannot heal what you hide.” Much of the sex industry is covered with shame and kept hidden, for both individuals being sexually exploited, and those perpetuating the demand for the sex industry. McConnell goes on to say that shame causes us to attach “what we’ve done, or what has happened to us, to our identity.”


“Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.”

— Brene Brown, I Thought It Was Just Me


Holistic restoration challenges the powerful hold that shame can have on an individual, and points forward to life further than being identified as what they have done, or what has been done to them.  Holistic restoration strengthens the belief that change and healing are possible, and comprehensive support provides the tools needed for the successful pursuit of holistic restoration.