Human Trafficking Awareness Day: Dear Survivor

Dear Survivor,

Today may be a tough day for you. I know it can be for me, though to be honest, the hardest part comes in the days after Awareness Day when the blue ribbons get put away, posters that make me throat punchy because they are so inaccurate  and over sensationalized get taken down, and folks turn off the proverbial lights on Trafficking and Exploitation. When it really hits home how performative and tokenizing the majority of these events meant to raise awareness really were. Those days are harder for me… Anyway, I wanted to share something with you. Something I wish another survivor had said to me when I first began to unravel my experience and share about it.

No matter where you are in your journey, no matter how you choose to use your experience: You are enough. You are strong, courageous, brilliant and beautiful. You have value beyond what has happened to you. You can lead in whatever way you decide feels best for you, no one else gets to decide what that looks like. You are tender and kind, and a force to be reckoned with. You are mighty. You are capable. You own this house.

You are the stuff of legends. 

Don’t ever forget or let anyone try to convince you differently: You are not a newcomer. You are not unqualified. You are not uneducated. You are not unaware. You are not unheard. You are not a checkmark. You are not a golf sticker You are not an afterthought. You are not a rescue mission. You are not a saved seat at the table. You are not a door mat. You are not a dollar sign. You are not a feel good pill. You are not, and never have been, broken. You are not just your story.

And you are not alone.

Sending all the love your way today, and every day.