Dear Human Trafficking:
So you thought you could get the best of me, didn’t you? You thought you could not only take my hope for a better future – but my stories of the past and use it for your own gain. You thought you could dismiss me and marginalize me. You thought that you finished me off when I stumbled out of the sex industry – cold and alone and afraid that I would never be able to live a normal life. You thought I would believe that no one could ever love me and that I didn’t deserve anything better than the cesspool of shame you left me in. You thought that I was one more notch on your belt and that the label of prostitution and sex trafficking would be enough to make me hide for the rest of my life. You thought you had damaged me enough that I would be useless. And you turned your back on me.
But while you weren’t looking – while you were busy trapping and demoralizing the younger men and women you find so attractive – I got better. And I got stronger. And I became fearless. What you didn’t count on was the fact that while you tried to convince people that I wasn’t a “real” victim, you were also making me believe I wasn’t a victim. And instead of making me feel worse – it made me feel better. Suddenly I realized that if I was still standing…I was a SURVIVOR of sex trafficking…not a victim! And now that I was standing…I thought I could help someone else.
And you laughed and turned your back on me to feed on the souls of others. You preyed on the weak and the poor. You didn’t discriminate against race, religion or political affiliation. Your wanton lust for flesh took you to the far corners of the earth and you convinced some that prostitution should be legal and it was a victimless crime and that the people that provided such services truly loved it…you took “free will” and turned it against the human race. You became powerful and blurred the lines so that many couldn’t see that this was nothing more than a new version of slave trading. And you became complacent that what you had created was beyond our ability to “fix” and that you could continue to gobble up lives with abandon.
And I got stronger and so did the others that had come before me. We are finding our voice and you can’t shut us up and you can’t shut us out. You may have taken on the mantle of “help” to try and deceive us into thinking that someone else could tell our stories and would let us in their club and have a seat at their table. Because you know the insidious nature of the this disease you created and the fear that is never far beneath the surface of any survivor of sex trafficking, you thought we would let them hide our pain and our grief with their bluster. You made them complicit with your defiance of all that is right by asking us to wait in the corner and trot us out when they needed a show. It was like they became the new pimp. The new well-meaning kinder gentler pimp. But still a pimp.
Look out Human Sex Trafficking. You have become fat and bloated and are wallowing in a sea of ignorance. And I am here to take you out.
You should know I’m not alone. All those souls you turned your back on over the years? They stand with me. And what you never counted on is that I am NOT a victim of your game of torture and dehumanization. I am a SURVIVOR. I am a FIGHTER. I am a THRIVER. I am an OVERCOMER.
And I am done with you.