Survivor Gallery: Allyson Ricketts

Allyson is a survivor-advocate of human trafficking and domestic violence from Texas. Her submission is an excerpt from her book Armor Of Her Embers, which includes an open letter to her trafficker, as well as her own photography. Since fleeing her trafficker in 2016 she has found her voice through art and writing and is now a student and participating in the fight against human trafficking.

As I Was

Excerpt from Armor of Her Embers

To my trafficker-

YOU trafficked me from 1999 until you saw no use for me then left me to die!

YOU are a terrorist. A pathetic human being who preyed on someone until you broke their will to live.  – You thought you did. You failed.

You isolated me from everyone I knew- by luring me with the promise of a job.

A job I would never see!

Then you took control of my identity, my finances, my passwords – all of my electronic information and you did it by gaining my TRUST.

YOU extorted me. YOU defrauded me. YOU enslaved me

I trusted you with my life – and my life you tried to TAKE.

You came to me as a romantic partner- an angel of light -you love bombed me to get me to TRUST you- and that is how you were able to manipulate me and enslave me….

At the time…

You LIED to me about everything and you live a lie to all those who encounter you!

YOU abused me horribly. You beat me. Physically. You psychologically beat me down until you thought I had given up.

But I never did!

YOU manipulated the system and had me so blind sided that by the time I could SEE what was going on I could not escape…

Or so you thought…..

YOU made hundreds of thousands of dollars off of me while forcing me to live in conditions not fit for anyone! Withholding money, food, necessities- lying to people about my “conditions” to save your own self from being investigated.

Lying to law enforcement when I called them – you called me crazy- they did nothing. They didn’t know what they were even looking at I’m sure.

…..I’m thriving now…

YOU isolated me and falsely imprisoned me for many years hoping – in your words that I would just “DIE”….

LAW ENFORCEMENT ignored my cries for help – but no more….

YOU tried to break the one thing that I believe is truly indomitable-

THE HUMAN SPIRIT

You failed.  You failed.

Well guess what. I’m stronger than I have ever been.

I found help and hope. You lose. 

I am free from you and I hope that this will help others escape their prisons. There IS help out there . Don’t give up!

I have taken a stand in the fight against trafficking to help others who are in the situation and I want to let all survivors know that no matter what has happened to you, YOU are stronger than you believe and there is HOPE for you! DO NOT GIVE UP!

Biography

Allyson is a survivor of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, exploitation of disabled persons and domestic violence. Her submission is from Texas where she spent many years in the confinement of her trafficker in a tin shack in a field. Since being free Allyson has dedicated much of her time to raise awareness and resources for victims. She works as a survivor consultant and has taken courses to write and speak more effectively in order to be able to help change laws and help heighten the resources available for victims and has found her voice through writing, art and activism.

Need help? Polaris operates the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline.