November 9, 2017

My Story Is for You

Haz clic aquí para leer el blog en español.

Warning: This blog includes content about sexual abuse and violence.

 

As a victim, survivor, and now, community member, I want to end the story of my human trafficking experience with a message for you.

You – woman, man, girl or boy, victim or survivor, whoever you are – nevermind what the world may say about you. We each hold our worth within ourselves and no one is worth more, nor less.

Whatever your traffickers may be forcing you to do now, or whatever you may have done in the past, does not diminish your value as a person. Our present and our past do not define our future. When we go to sleep at night, there's no guarantee that we’ll wake up the next morning. However, getting up each day is also a decision we each have to make for ourselves.

No more

By nature, we are strong. We just need to believe that and not wait for anyone to tell us who or what we are. Let's remember that we’re human beings, and we deserve a life with dignity and respect – free from slavery and abuse. God gave us the gift of life for a purpose.

We aren’t objects, we aren’t merchandise, we aren’t reusable or disposable bottles. We aren’t money-making machines, we aren’t anyone’s property, we aren’t window displays and we aren’t jewelry to fill someone’s pockets. We aren’t a luxury car, or a Disney World mansion, and we aren’t someone’s safe or bank. We're not someone’s “old lady,” “junk,” or “girl” either. We aren’t their “slave,” “b****,” or “s****,” and we aren’t their “Barbies” for them to use as their dolls. No more!

Let's say it together: “No more sexual slavery. No more human trafficking. No more.”

We’re mothers; we’re daughters; we’re cousins, sisters and friends. We’re students, we’re workers, and we’re members of your community. I survived sex trafficking, and now I feel the responsibility to help others who are still living in that hell and think there’s no way out.

As a victim, survivor and community member, I’m here to tell you that we can all join in the fight against human trafficking if we don’t stay silent. Let’s learn to recognize the signs and speak out. Let’s break our chains.

Let's say it together: “No more sexual slavery. No more human trafficking. No more.”

There is hope

You, victim or survivor, still in your trafficking situation – you have the power to change your life and that of your descendants. You also have the power to change the lives of many others who are being forced into prostitution or other forms of exploitation right this very moment.

Yes, you – still out there – you should know that the ones you fear the most are those who already have you. The promises your traffickers made you are lies, just as they are liars. And in their hands, you’ll die one day.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

I’m living proof that your life can be different. It wasn’t an easy process, but thanks to God, I now have my freedom and my life back. I now have a wonderful relationship with my family, and my traffickers are serving their sentence.

I want you to know that there’s hope for you too. So come out of the shadows and speak up. You deserve to be heard. Leave fear behind – you’re no longer alone. None of this is your fault, and the law is on victims’ side, regardless of your immigration status.

I want you to know there's hope for you too. So, come out of shadows and speak out. You deserve to be heard. Leave fear behind, you are no longer alone.

As a community, we must be informed and aware. There are many resources to get information, report this crime or seek help, and you don’t always have to give your name. With just one call, you can make a difference and set an example for others.

You can save a life, your life, or someone else’s life. If we're united, we'll never be defeated.

 

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To get help or to report a tip, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888). It’s a free, confidential, and anonymous resource that will help any caller in need, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, in your language.

This is the last post of a five-part series in which Carmen, a Polaris consultant and spokesperson, shares her experience in human trafficking. Click here to read the previous blog. This series is part of Polaris’s new campaign, “Join the Solution,” to fight the sex trafficking of women and girls from Mexico and other Latin American countries. For more information and resources, and to join the campaign, visit:www.laredhispana.org/unetealasolucion.

 *Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

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Blog Posts by Carmen