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Trauma survivors are the driving force of our organisation. 
 

trauma experts

As survivors, we have an unparalleled understanding

of what trauma is and how it can be transformed. It is

our inner perspectives, combined with our expertise in art and science, that allow us to change the ecosystem

of trauma from the inside out and create new horizons.

Yet, this is a movement that must include everyone

– for trauma concerns us all and we are all to benefit from the world we are building. Therefore, we are also intentional about working with non-survivors who share our vision and values.

Our core team members are all survivors,

our associates include survivors and their loved ones, and our advisors encompass a range of people with different experiences and interests in trauma.

Team

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Laura E. Fischer (she/they)

Founder & CEO

Laura trained with the Ballet de la Côte in Switzerland and studied arts at Central Saint Martins, mental health sciences at Queen Mary University, psychology at King’s College London, traumatic stress at the Justice Resource Institute, and she was awarded Improvement Leader Fellow by NIHR CLAHRC NWL. Her research focuses on the embodied experience of trauma and body-based interventions, her art practice explores the reclaiming of the sociocultural narrative of trauma on survivors' terms, and her consultancy includes trauma-sensitive practice and arts for health. She is Visiting Lecturer at UCL and QMUL; Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at KCL; and she serves on the ATTUNE Data Monitoring and Ethics Committee at the University of Oxford and the Editorial Advisory Board of The Lancet Psychiatry. She has worked with many communities, universities, NHS Trusts, the NIHR, Public Health England, Wellcome, and others. She has published, presented, and exhibited internationally, including at the V&A, Whitechapel Gallery, and BFI, and some of her artwork is in the Central Saint Martins Museum Collection.

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Sullivan Holderbach (he/they)

Art Manager & Researcher

Sullivan is a trauma survivor, artist, and researcher focused on the development and facilitation of survivor-led, arts-facilitated, healing practices. His research aims to utilize creative practices as means to encourage and sustain health by renegotiating personal relationships and understandings of trauma. He completed his BA degree in Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham and his MASc degree in Creative Health at University College London. His practice is informed by his multi-nationality as well as his experiences working as a stagehand, performer, costume/set designer and stage manager in both the Festival of European Anglophone Theatrical Societies and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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Isaac Ouro-Gnao (he/they)

Artist, Writer, Researcher

Isaac Ouro-Gnao is a Togolese-British multidisciplinary artist and freelance journalist. He graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University with a Multimedia Journalism BA in 2015, and from Queen Mary University of London in Creative Arts and Mental Health MSc in 2022. His work is rooted in magical realism and Africanfuturism with a focus on themes of childhood, trauma, memory, and mental health across the forms of dance, theatre, film, essays, and poetry.

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Ngozi "N/A" Oparah (she/her)

Community Engagement Lead

& Researcher

Dr. Ngozi “N/A” Oparah is a writer, researcher, and artist. Ngozi holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Philosophy from Duke University. Ngozi completed her PhD at Loughborough University where she investigated the roles of phenomenological, multidisciplinary narratives in addressing mental health literacy. Ngozi served as the Director of Community Programs at StoryCenter, a digital storytelling non-profit, where she instructed in digital and visual storytelling, autofiction, poetry, podcasting, and memoir writing. Ngozi currently serves as a lecturer on the MASc in Creative Health Degree at UCL and facilitates storytelling and writing workshops worldwide. Her research focuses on storytelling (writing, film) and creative methodologies as tools for research, engagement, wellbeing, and community development.

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Gavin Edmonds (all pronouns)

Artist & Researcher

Dr Gavin Edmonds is an artist / artist-researcher whose work looks at how and why artists identify with other artists / artwork, and what processes are at work when this occurs. This developed from his own experience with an artwork, that lead to the subsequent recognition of PTSD, dating back to childhood. His work employs/builds upon the Freudian concept of (afterwardsness), which describes how an experience that is either incomprehensible or traumatic, is retained unconsciously then revivified at a later time in a different context.

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Julian Triandafyllou (he/they)

Artist

Julian’s work explores themes of time, memory, belief, and activity attempting to find avenues out of cyclical processes; the work often silently mirrors or reflects the experience of living with trauma. Creating across writing, photography, and hybrid-documentary the work invites the viewer to explore the power and agency formed through creative processes.

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Julie-Yara Atz (she/they-elle/iel-هي)

Artist

Julie-Yara Atz is a Syrian-Swiss hybrid who studied filmmaking at the Geneva University of Arts and Design and acting at the Giles Foreman Centre for Acting in London. Her documentary “Leaving Syria: long live the youth” premiered at Telluride in 2017, and she was recently cast in BBC/ITV show “Shetland VI” as recurring character Salma Nassan. She is currently working on developing her first feature film “La Bâtardise” (Bastardy) – about a mixed Syrian-Swiss family in Switzerland – while finishing an MA in Cultural Studies at SOAS.

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Lou Robbin (they/them)

Dylan Reddish (they/them)

Coordinator &

Dance Movement Psychotherapist

Coordinator

Dylan is a queer movement artist and registered dance movement psychotherapist. While dance is their primary modality, Dylan prefers to work on projects that are interdisciplinary. They love and respect creativity as a healing modality. Through their work, Dylan aims to cultivate an anti-oppressive practice that supports abolition of the police industrial complex by centering their work around the lived experiences of people.

Lou is a multidisciplinary artist, creative producer and wellbeing practitioner who centres care at the core of their work. Expanding upon their training in Counselling and Psychotherapy, they work towards becoming a licensed somatic practitioner, with intent to create experiences which catalyse playful curiosity and growth through joy.

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Abd Doumany عبد دوماني (he/him)

Coordinator

Abd is a Syrian witness and multi-disciplinary storyteller. Doumany’s work focuses on the ethics of content creation, showing and viewing content from war zones.




Partners
 

King's College London
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Angie Sweeney (she/her)

& Service User Research Enterprise

Angie is a trauma survivor, survivor researcher, Senior Lecturer in User-Led Research and Director of the Service User Research Enterprise (SURE), King’s College London. Angie has particular interests in gender-based violence, trauma and parenting, and trauma-informed approaches. Although a health services researcher, she originally studied social sciences, and sociological approaches continue to inform her work.

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Roz Etwaria (she/her)

& Little Ro

Roz is the reputable driving force behind littlero.org and is an ambassador for Survivors Voices. Roz campaigns for the rights of victim-survivors of child sexual abuse. She has studied trauma through Black history, Feminism and Abuse. Roz has spoken to audiences worldwide on hope and healing. Roz is an award-winning, highly respected playful public speaker and thought-provoking social intellectual.

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Jane Chevous (she/her)

& Survivors Voices

Jane is an abuse survivor and has championed participation and lived experience with over 40 years of work in youth work, social care, lifelong-learning and children's rights fields. A writer, educator, researcher and activist, she leads Survivors Voices, turning the pain of trauma into the power to change responses to abuse. She lives on their old sailing yacht with her husband Ivan, enjoys leading their 8 grandchildren astray, sewing and playing her accordion.




Associates
 

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Alicia Jane Turner (they/them)

Associate Artist

Alicia is an interdisciplinary sound artist whose work spans contemporary theatre, live art and new classical music, creating and collaborating on projects that are raw, provocative and political through an intersectional feminist, queer lens. Their work as a sound designer and composer in theatre has toured internationally and across the UK, and they have performed at venues including the Southbank Centre, Barbican, The Almeida, The Yard Theatre, Rich Mix and Battersea Arts Centre. They’ve been commissioned by organisations including the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, National Sawdust (New York), Spitalfields Music and Rich Mix. They were a Bang on a Can composer fellow in 2018, and a London Sinfonietta Writing the Future composer for 2020-2022.

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Allison Vicente (she/her)

Associate Artist & Practitioner

Allison is a Filipino-Canadian dance artist raised in Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), Squamish (Skxwú7mesh), and Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilwətaɁɬ) nations. Through her choreographic pieces Allison has aimed to raise awareness on trauma, relationships, and complex family dynamics. Her evergrowing passion for psychology and movement has led her to London, UK, where she is completing her MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at the University of Roehampton.

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Alyson Kissner (she/her)

Associate Artist

Dr. Alyson Kissner is a Canadian-born poet and academic based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her critical and creative research interrogates the way abuse functions in personal relationships, while also exploring themes of identity, power and control, faith, grief, sexuality, and the natural world. Alyson is co-winner of the 2022 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for Scottish-based poets under 30 and placed second in the 2023 Bridport Poetry Prize. She has also written intersectional courses for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence, which are currently being run in a partnership with the dating apps Bumble and Badoo.

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Ami Vadgama (she/her)

Associate Researcher

Ami has been involved in a number of projects on the Public Mental Health programme run by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research. In addition to mental health research, she is also passionate about cardiovascular science and is currently mid-way through her PhD.

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Bobbie Galvin (she/her)

Associate Artist

Bobbie is a communication designer who specialises in creative strategy, information design and branding. Within these areas, her practice lends itself to ethnographic methods which give life to designs that first and foremost connect to people and the places they inhabit. She has a BA (Hons) in Graphic Communication Design from Central Saint Martins and has worked on projects with Survivors Voices, VAMHN, NIHR SPHR, align, the UAL Social Design Institute, Broadbase.

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Concetta Perôt 

Associate Practitioner & Researcher

Concetta is a psychotherapist, consultant, and researcher. She has over 25 years of experience in supporting people, as a social worker with children in care and facilitator of peer groups for survivors of abuse and trauma, and more recently as a an integrative counsellor and psychotherapist. She is co-founder of Survivors’ Voices and led the research on the Charter for Engaging Abuse Survivors, which explores safe and effective engagement of survivors in research and services.

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Esperence Mujer Guerrera

Associate Practitioner

Esperence trained in Integrative Counselling Psychotherapy and is now a trainee in Dance Movement Psychotherapy. She also works as a Support Worker for the homeless charity St Mungo’s and has volunteered for Crisis for a decade. She has expertise in trauma, mental health, addiction, homelessness, and disability.

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Gil Holderbach (he/him)

Associate Artist

Gil is a French-American graphic designer and artworker.

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Julie Reed (she/her)

Associate Researcher

Julie is a writer and Professor of Improvement Science. Her inquiries focus on learning how improvements can be achieved in complex social systems. She has a special interest in understanding how academics, practitioners and members of public can collaborate, and how our worldviews and philosophical perspectives influence what we do and how we interact with each other. For over a decade Julie was the leader of a hybrid academic-NHS organisation which explored how to translate evidence into practice and achieve improvements in healthcare services. Whilst engaged with this work, which she was passionate about and deeply committed to, Julie experienced workplace trauma as the result of bullying, discrimination, and betrayal. This led Julie to embark on a personal journey to heal from complex PTSD and transformed her understanding of the role trauma plays in society. Julie is now the director of her own company, a visiting professor of improvement science and is writing a series of books that draw on her personal experiences.

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Khadj Rouf (she/her)

Associate Researcher & Practitioner

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Leila Sibai (she/they)

Associate Researcher

Leila is a legal researcher currently working as an independent legal investigator in collaboration with the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), with whom she supports the development of case-files pertaining to war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria. Leila has an MA in International Law and an MA in Research Architecture and is currently developing her own research practice. Leila is also a board member of Huquqyat.

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Marian Crole (she/her)

Associate Artist

Marian is an Anglo-Uruguayan-Swiss artist, educational trainer and ombudswoman dedicated to holding space for emotional release through her work. She is a caring soul sensitive to beauty and truth. She works with individuals and also institutions in different countries of Europe.

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Neha Shah (she/her)

Associate Researcher & Practitioner

Neha is a Consultant In Public Health and a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist. She is both passionate about supporting people directly and advocating for societal change to better protect people from trauma and empower them to heal, grow and live fulfilling lives.

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Rachel Milligan (she/her)

Associate Researcher

Rachel completed a Masters in Mental Health Science and a PhD in Biochemistry. She is interested in the neurobiological correlates of trauma and in better understanding our brains.

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Síofra Peeren (she/her)

Associate Researcher

Síofra is a trauma survivor and researcher. Her work focuses on amplifying the voices of survivors to transform health and social care; a mission that is shaped by both her lived experience. She has expertise in trauma-informed approaches and gender-based violence, and in using trauma-informed, creative and novel methods to engage with expertise held by survivors. She is also passionate about embedding trauma-informed principles in the evidence that shapes practice and policy decisions and thus founded the Kindness in Research Conference - a conference about trauma-informed research.

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Ying Li (she/her)

Associate Practitioner

Ying is committed to a radical re-imagining of who we are and how we relate to each other and the more-than-human worlds, both visible and invisible. As an Inner Dimensions Guide with a background in healing therapies, Ying assists individuals and groups to connect with their inner knowing, intuitive perceptions, soul expression and elemental awareness. Core aspects of her work include meditation, ritual, dance alchemy and engagement with Earth consciousness.

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Allison Vicente (she/her)



Advisors
 

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Andrea Danese (he/him)

Andrea is a clinical scientist interested in childhood trauma and trauma-related psychopathology across the life-course. He is Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at King’s College London and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the National and Specialist CAMHS Trauma, Anxiety, and Depression Clinic at the Maudsley Hospital (UK).

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Avinash Sharma (he/him)

Avinash is a Consultant Physician working privately and at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Trust. He supports people with a wide range of acute and long-term medical conditions. He works collaboratively in delivering comprehensive and person-centred holistic care to his patients, thereby improving their health outcomes and wellbeing.

(she/they)

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Andrea Luka Zimmerman

Andrea is a Jarman Award winning filmmaker, cultural activist and artist whose engaged practice calls for a profound re-imagining of the relationship between people, place and ecology. Focusing on marginalised individuals, communities and experience, the practice employs imaginative hybridity and narrative re-framing, alongside reverie and a creative waywardness. Informed by suppressed histories, and alert to sources of radical hope, the work prioritises an enduring and equitable co-existence. Andrea grew up on a large council estate and left school at 16. Andrea is Professor of Possible film at Central Saint Martins.

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Gareth Evans (he/him)

Gareth is a London-based writer, editor, film / event curator and producer, host and documentary mentor. He works on special projects for the London Review of Books and curates their Screen at Home series. From 2012 - 2023 he was the Adjunct Moving Image Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery. He has written many catalogue essays and articles on place culture, artists and the moving image, as well as the extensive text for Radiohead's KID A MNESIA catalogue. 

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Helen Fisher (she/her)

Helen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology based at King's College London. Her research explores the role of social, biological, and wider environmental factors in the development, course, and prevention of mental health challenges in children and young people. She is also passionate about improving public awareness about mental health through collaborations with artists and young people who have lived experience.

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Jayati Das-Munshi (she/her)

Dr Jayati Das-Munshi is a Clinical Reader in Social and Psychiatry Epidemiology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences, King’s College London and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist. She is passionate about applying innovative methods - whether it’s through data and linkages, or through working with partners across voluntary organisations, public health or government, or working closely with people with lived experience, to catalyse and understand what can be done to tackle and prevent mental health inequalities. She led one of the first linkages in England - of census to mental health records, enabling an understanding of social and economic determinants of mental health onset and outcomes. She has also undertaken work using large-scale linked health records, to understand reasons underlying why people with severe mental health conditions die 15-20 years earlier than the general population. Her work has informed policy in England and internationally. She is Co-Director for a newly established UKRI-funded Population Health Improvement initiative which will focus on population mental health. This population mental health theme will bring together academic and government, public health, voluntary organisation partnerships and people with lived experience across the UK and will utilise large-scale linked data, to understand and evaluate population-level approaches to improve and address mental health inequalities.

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Judah Armani (he/him)

Judah is a Designer in Residence at InnovationRCA, Head of Social Impact Lab in Service Design Masters Programme at The Royal College of Art, multi-award winning Collaborative Designer, and Founder of InHouse Records, a collaborative rehabilitative programme, operating in and outside of multiple UK and USA prisons.

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Judy Willcocks (she/her)

Judy is Head of the Central Saint Martins Museum & Study Collection and a Senior Research Fellow with a specialism In object-based learning. Judy contributed to the Museums on Prescription research project and has a long standing track record in social prescribing and museum based wellbeing activities.

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Kam Bhui (he/him)

Kam is Professor of Psychiatry & Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the University of Oxford. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Psychiatry and the Director of the World Psychiatric Association Collaborating Centre, among other roles. He is Principal Investigator of the ATTUNE Project, a multi-site study that explores young people’s experiences and understandings of mental health and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) using varied arts-based methods.

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Karin Hagemann (she/her)

Karin is the Managing Director of Sustainable Outreach, a strategy consulting firm, previously a Director of PwC and then of KPMG in Geneva, Switzerland. Karin looks back on a long career in varied domains, from being a United Nations employee to managing a health foundation, to being an organic farmer, as well as many years in strategy consulting.  International development and more recently the Sustainable Development Goals provide the red thread that has guided both Karin's personal and professional development.

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Maria Grazia Turri (she/her)

Maria is a Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London and the co-director of the MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health. She worked as psychiatrist and psychotherapist in the NHS for 15 years and is a member of the Critical Psychiatry Network. Maria advocates for radical reform of contemporary psychiatry, for the need to prioritise trauma prevention and social justice, and for harnessing the arts for research, education, advocacy and practice in mental health.

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Michael Ghossainy (he/him)

Michael is a creative strategist and producer based in New York City; he specializes in brand identity and social initiatives. He has launched awareness campaigns with the International Rescue Committee and works on the local level with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as a career mentor. He has an affinity for collaborating with people to develop diverse, culturally-informed strategies that improve lives and evolve within the context of tomorrow.

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Minh Dang (she/her)

Minh is an activist, artist, academic, and Co-Founder and Executive Director of Survivor Alliance, an international non-profit and non-governmental organization with a mission to unite and empower survivors of slavery and human trafficking. She is also a Research Fellow and Lead in Survivor Wellbeing and Scholarship at the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab. Recently, Minh earned her Ph.D in Politics and Contemporary History, studying the wellbeing of survivors of slavery and human trafficking.

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Rowan Myron (she/her)

Rowan is Associate Professor In Healthcare Management. She is a psychologist and researcher, she has 18 years experience of working with survivors and survivor researchers, first in the area of mental health, more recently working with patients and lay partners In the NIHR CLAHRC NWL (2009-2019) and the NIHR ARC NWL (2019 to present). She has expertise In the area of Implementation/Improvement science and extensive experience In mentoring and supporting researchers to successfully complete projects.

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Sunita Sharma (she/her)

Sunita is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with over 20 years of clinical experience. She is the postnatal lead of the NHS London Maternity Clinical Network. Sunita is also an NHS England Clinical Entrepreneur and has led on multi-award winning ‘mum and baby app’ and ‘postnatal digital suite’ projects. More recent work has included the Beyond Birth Living Library, co-designed with local Maternity Voices Partnership, offering parents peer support tailored to their birth experiences.

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Vali Mahlouji (he/him)

Dr Vali Mahlouji is an art curator, historian, director of several artist estates, and the founder of Archaeology of the Final Decade (AOTFD), which is a non-profit research, cultural, and artistic platform dedicated to unearthing erased, violated, stigmatised, absented and contested histories. Mahlouji trained at the University of London (SOAS) in Archaeology and Philology and at the Anna Freud Centre in Psychoanalytic Psychology and has been an active member of AIDS and LGBT advocacy and resistance in the U.K. He is a founding member of the Iranian Queer Liberation Collective.

trauma experts

We turned violence into insight

and insight into action.

traumascapes-trauma-self-care
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