Actress Angela Featherstone starred in prominent TV programs like Friends and also Seinfeld over the last two decades, but behind the scenes she was fighting marks from a painful childhood years.
" I would characterize the first 16 years of my life to be violent physically, emotionally, psychologically and, in the end, sexually violent," Featherstone tells Yahoo Life. "At the very least, there was criminal neglect on a regular basis, and also great deals of desertion."
At 16, Nova Scotia native Featherstone was put into the foster care system in Canada, an experience that shaped her life and, in numerous methods, deepened her trauma. Today, she is an outspoken supporter for children in the system as well as the owner of Fostering Care, a not-for-profit organization that is committed to healing young adults (18-21) who are maturing out of the foster treatment system. The program contains a 3 month program during which students obtain a mentor certificate in a recovery modality, such as meditation, breath job or yoga exercise. Furthermore, the program hosts visitor lectures on subjects like nutrition, medication dependence and different life abilities.
Featherstone knows direct just how critical these recovery tools can be for youth transitioning into their adult years from foster treatment. She bears in mind being put in a group residence at 16, as well as witnessing sexual activity, violence and also drug use, while experiencing a lack of proper food as well as care. "I kept getting put in these group houses as well as I maintained escaping due to the fact that I hated the group residences. They were truly negative and I really did not feel risk-free there, and so I kept leaving," claims Featherstone.
However on the streets, she located herself facing also darker hazards.
Angela Featherstone childhood years photo (Picture through Instagram @angela_featherstone).
Angela Featherstone in her young people. (Photo using Instagram @angela_featherstone).
" I was being trafficked, I was simply being raped at all times. I had not been getting any type of cash and I wasn't standing on any type of road corner. It was various than what I had thought of in my head of what it was," states Featherstone. "I had not noticed that it could be so subtle, as it could take place to you and also you do not also realize it's occurring to you.".
This year, more than 23,000 children will certainly age out of the youngster welfare system, as well as numerous will certainly encounter risks like homelessness, imprisonment or trafficking. Studies in the U.S. as well as elsewhere consistently report that 50 to 90% of kid sex trafficking victims have been involved in the child well-being system-- something Featherstone thinks is based on systemic issues that permit the dark globe of sex trafficking to grow as well as target one of the most susceptible young people.
" I just see this picture of foster care resembling those holding pens for the cattle prior to they get butchered: The slaughtering is essentially transforming 18 in the state of California," states Featherstone. "The foster-care-to-pedophile pipeline is alive and well.".
Featherstone was ultimately picked up by authorities, jailed and charged with "immorality," which she later learned was prostitution. At 17 and a fifty percent she pled the court to liberate her, which he did, and with her newfound liberty she obtained money from a pal and took a bus to Toronto. In less than a year she had actually turned into one of Canada's most sought-after models, eventually relocating to New York City to increase her occupation.
Quickly, Hollywood came knocking, and also in addition to strike TV shows, she landed duties in films like The Wedding event Vocalist and Disadvantage Air. In spite of her success, Featherstone states she began consuming alcohol as well as battled to locate solid ground.
Angela Featherstone acting in '' Seinfeld ' in 1998( Photo: Getty). Angela Featherstone, right, in Seinfeld in 1998. (Image: Getty Images).
" I went to the peak of my profession as a starlet, and also a number of truly tough instances took place at the workplace, and also I did not have the framework to handle them. When they took place, I just fell down and also sought the convenience in being homeless," says Featherstone. "I became homeless. I actually threw all my cash away on any person who would certainly take it. I just wanted to start from ground zero once again.".
Featherstone says she brought around a childlike unhappiness and also frequently doubted why her young people had actually been so traumatic. In 2011, she went to UCLA's creating program and started penciling a memoir. Featherstone has given that shared her experiences with sex trafficking as well as forgiveness in essays. By 2016, nonetheless, Featherstone suffered an additional problem in her healing, which minute would start aligning her uncomfortable past with her purpose.
" I had a really hard year as well as I nearly didn't make it. I virtually killed myself. It was so excruciating," she tells Yahoo Life. "It was time to truly heal the core injuries. And also it was so agonizing.".
Via various therapies, yoga exercise as well as writing, Featherstone says she found her function in assisting young people who have survived the foster care system. In 2020, she began developing the structure for Fostering Treatment, which includes teaching recovery modalities planned to stabilize the mind, body as well as feelings.