A new year. Often can be filled with new hopes, new dreams, new longings, goals and so much more. The holiday season can be ‘tough’ to put it lightly. I don’t have any biological family because they chose to sell me, exploit me as a child and so now with many others I have many losses.
The other day I was with some friends who are kind of like ‘family’ they took a picture and after it was up on Facebook I looked at myself over and over and thought – do I really look like that? I mean the girl in the photo was pretty – I am so used to either having some guy call out at me on the street, people ignore me or thinking I look horrible in photos I was a bit shocked.
Here is the thing with Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking often there is not much aftercare for many survivors. (Especially awhile back- things are getting better). A survivors life has been filled with some sort of ‘identity theft’ in a sense – who you were meant to be has been taken, stolen, robbed from you and just trying to fight to live. You have to figure out who you are now, after all of this. You have lived through the worst of abuses, (physical, emotional, and sexual) through Force, Fraud and Coercion. People often tell me that I am brave, strong, amazing. To be honest I don’t think that I am any of those things. I just survived, I survived hell and so did some pretty other amazing women I have had the honor to come to know. I am more than my story – yes, there is so much more. I don’t know fully what will become of me, but I know that God does and I have not lived through all of this just to be a story of another child sold for sex, beaten, locked up, etc.
I recently shared at a juvenile detention facility and before I opened my mouth I looked into their eyes each young woman. She was filled with hope, beauty, a life yet to be lived. She is more than what has happened to her; she has so much life in front of her. She is so strong – they are more than their stories. Their eyes filled with tears as they listened. We knew each other – they just had never met me before. Some of them had been told to hush, some had been sold like me, and some thought they were the only ones. They all have so much ability, gifting, beauty, and talent. A new year filled with new hope for them, for me, for you.
I don’t know what this year holds but I kind of love that it starts with Human Trafficking Awareness month. The more people that know, that more that can report, intervene and not turn their eyes away innocence is saved, lives are redeemed – hope is come. This is a great way to start the year. I love that – I love that people are educated, life is coming and culture is changing. Join with us to fight to end child sex trafficking. No one should ever be sold.
Here is to a great year filled with great hope and life.