Fainess Lipenga has been an active member of the National Survivor Network since 2013. As a survivor of labor trafficking, she uses her voice and experience to educate the community and raise awareness. Her mission is to prevent other survivors from being re-victimized and to give them hope and courage to heal, become leaders, and achieve their dreams. Prior to this role, Ms. Lipenga served as a consultant to the Human Trafficking Legal Center for more than five years.
Ms. Lipenga has testified before the U.S. Congress regarding the challenges survivors face. She has presented to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She has provided training for pro bono lawyers, law students, physicians, law enforcement officials, and federal prosecutors. She has spoken at national conferences and developed expert training materials. In 2019, Ms. Lipenga testified before the Maryland General Assembly to advocate for the passage of the Anti-Exploitation Act. With the help of her testimony, Maryland passed the bill, making labor trafficking an illegal act for the first time in Maryland.
Ms. Lipenga is the recipient of the Justice for Victims of Crime Award from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Washington, D.C. She believes survivor voices and leadership are essential to advocacy on human trafficking. She is a certified nursing assistant and continues to pursue her goal of becoming a registered nurse.