Julia Torres Barden bravely shares her story of trauma. Kidnapped and raped when she was nine, Julia finds her way home afterwards, only to be further traumatized when the adults in her life don’t notice she’s in shock and has been terrorized. Already having been exposed to various types of abuse and childhood trauma, Julia turns to art and creative outlets to help soothe and inspire her through difficult times. While Julia emerged from her childhood as a resilient woman, her adult onset of PTSD forced her to overcome new challenges and the desire to explore how childhood trauma affects adults later in life.
Julia Torres Barden | Advocate
How does one channel life lessons learned from traumatic experiences? Are we born creative, or do traumatic experiences make us artists? For Julia Torres Barden, she chose to channel her traumatic experiences and her PTSD diagnosis into art and advocacy work.
An accomplished author and photojournalist whose photos have appeared in USA Today and other media outlets, Barden became a fierce advocate for other trauma survivors after she identified, processed, and came to terms with her own childhood trauma. In turn, she felt compelled to help others process theirs, too. She advocates for fellow victims of rape, trauma survivors, citizens affected by 9/11, and those who score high on the A.C.E. (Adverse Childhood Experiences) index.
Her memoir, “NEWYORICANGIRL…Surviving my Spanglish Life,” led to a collaboration with the Latin Ballet of Virginia to bring her story to the stage. Artist | Advocate This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at