Diana Cisneros didn’t grow up in a normal childhood. When she was merely seven years old, a member of her own family started trafficking her. This lasted until she was in her early teens, and she credits her Christian faith in God as the primary reason she was able to fight through and survive the horrific experience. It’s a fight that she’s still engaged in to this day through her writing, speaking, and actions, and she was recently recognized for her efforts.
According to the Taft Midway Driller, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove awarded Cisneros with the 2016 Woman of the Year for the 34th Assembly District during a special ceremony at the State Capitol earlier this month.
“Hope – that is what Diana’s story gives to trafficking survivors whose lives have been shattered by this horrific crime,” said Assemblywoman Grove. “With God’s assistance, Diana has bravely overcome her circumstances and turned her life into a beautiful tale of restoration.”
Cisneros, who works as a human trafficking trainer for the Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking (KCAHT), has dedicated her life to the cause by drawing on her own personal experiences of survival and redemption. Aside from her day job, she also leads a My Life My Choice Group at the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. Her story was recently featured in a documentary, entitled “The Trafficked Life.”
Cisneros currently lives in Bakersfield with her husband, Joe, and one-year-old daughter. She’s known throughout her local community as a leader and advocate who spends a great deal of her time training, educating, and relating her story to anyone interested, but has made it an especially personal mission try and help bring happiness back to other victims. She loves to share how her Christian faith has given her the strength and healing to be in the position she’s in today.
California has held this ceremony each year since 1987 to recognize women who are doing remarkable things to help their community and society overall. These leaders are crucial, as more and more Americans deal with crimes like trafficking or live paycheck-to-paycheck, as nearly 75% of all Americans do.