About the Program:

WYES exposes the horror of the sex trafficking trade in Louisiana in the 30-minute documentary TURNING THE TIDE: A STORY OF HELL, HEALING, AND HOPE.

The film identifies a growing team of perhaps unlikely warriors that has mobilized to fight. They include First Lady Donna Edwards, a group of Catholic nuns running a secret healing center, and three heroic survivors turned advocates.

The program is produced, written and narrated by Emmy Award-winning journalist Karen Swensen and directed, photographed and edited by Peabody Award-winning photojournalist Aaron Brownlee.

In shocking transparency, survivors of sex trafficking share their journeys into the depths of depravity, explaining with the clarity of hindsight what made them vulnerable and the dangers that lurk in our own backyard.

“It’s a lot easier to sell a human and
make money than (to sell) drugs.”

Trooper Amy Juneau, an investigator with the
Louisiana State Police who is interviewed in the program

Juneau also explains why Louisiana has become a battleground in the national fight, including an interstate system that provides easy access for many traffickers.

Mrs. Edwards, who has made the fight against human trafficking a key part of her work as First Lady, not only works to raise awareness and affect change nationwide, she also takes an active role in the survivors’ healing process. “They deserve for us to stand up for them, to talk about what they’re going through, to save them, to bring them back,” she says in an interview.

And among the resources that does just that is Metanoia, a secret healing center run by five Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy – Catholic nuns who love the girls back to a place of well-being while also providing them an education, therapy and life skills. “We just welcome them and love them as they are when they come,” said Sr. Norma Nunez of the Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy.

Thank you to our program’s generous sponsor:

A special 30-minute program followed the documentary and was hosted by Karen Swensen with (clockwise from right) Louisiana First Lady Donna Edwards; Dr. Dana Hunter, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Human Trafficking Prevention; Acting Asst. FBI Special Agent in Charge Charles Koger and Michelle Johnson, Sex Trafficking Expert.

Discussions include how Louisiana can better respond to the crisis of human trafficking and what resources are available.

Watch the panel discussion now on WYES’ YouTube channel.


The National Human Trafficking Hotline  1-888-373-7888

FBI 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324)

Louisiana State Police Human Trafficking Hotline 1-800-434-8007

DCFS Child Abuse Hotline 1-855-452-5437

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 1-800-843-5678



National Center on Sexual Exploitation


Eden House

In the News:

Biz New Orleans



Aislinn Hinyup, WYES Vice President of Communications, ahinyup@wyes.org