In the time I’ve been writing, I’ve had handfuls of stories from other survivors placed in my lap. I’ve done my best to sit with them in their struggles and triumph in their survival.
Each survivor I have the privilege to share space with brings me the kind of joy I don’t know how to put into words.
For the survivors reading this, I’m so, so glad you’re still here. The world needs you. You are valuable and loved and you have a place in this world that can only be filled by you.
There is something, though, that has plagued me to the point I often can’t bring myself to even entertain the idea, and that is the ones who don’t survive.
This is the big, ugly reality of sex trafficking. Far more of us die in captivity than are ever rescued.
In instances with more than one victim, other victims sometimes watch those around them die.
In instances with one victim, the threat of death is real and imminent.
In instances of strong-willed victims, they are beaten into submission or death.
In instances of passive victims, they risk being too docile and angering their captors.
Friends, as we sit perusing the Internet, reading this blog, eating dinner, texting our best friend, there are men, women, and children dying at the hands of their traffickers.
Be inspired by my story. Be encouraged to help survivors. Gather hope and faith from my healing. But don’t you forget for a moment that if we don’t do something, this life can and will be a death sentence for millions.
Don’t you forget for a moment that even survivors have names and faces and stories of people no one will miss but them.