We all must come together as one if we would like to end domestic abuse and human trafficking. I applaud the brave women who have been coming forward, discussing their past and the traumas they have endured. One of the reasons that we read history books is so we can learn from others mistakes. If we would like to make an impacting change in this world, we must acknowledge the whole issue.
Human trafficking is conveying people from one area to another with the intention of sexual exploitation. Most of the human trafficking going on in the United States is different than what we view in the media. Some trafficking movies show women shackled to a bed or held hostage. That would be human trafficking but is dissimilar to the growing concern today.
A great amount of warning signs to look for with human trafficking victims resonates with my past as a prostitute. For instance: By no means in control of one’s money, must meet daily quotas, owing a large sum of debt, has a pimp and working long, odd hours. Checks into hotels, avoids eye contact with others, evades law enforcement, physical and mental abuse. Has a tattoo of the pimps name, small amount of personal belongings, mental issues, drug addiction and recruited through empty promises.
The human trafficking conferences throughout the United States are here to bring awareness to the predicament and combat trafficking, yet people are still unaware of the actual problem. Law enforcement has human trafficking stings to crack down on the matter. During these stings, police officers arrest prostitutes, johns and pimps. Although this is an easy way for police officers to make an expeditious amount of arrests, it is unable to stop what is going on.
The escorts selling their bodies have no chains or shackles keeping them there. Prostitutes paying pimps are prisoners of their own minds. A person must want to change and follow through; in order for this to happen, one must change mentally. Most of the human trafficking going on in the United States today is similar to the situation I gained the courage to escape from; this is domestic abuse.
I was in the prostitution lifestyle for seven years. Every pimp I have ever had was African American, excluding one Portuguese pimp. They all mentally, physically and/or financially abused me. My last pimp of five years abused me in all three ways. While I was with him, I felt stuck and thought I had no other options. It was like he had me chained to him by invisible shackles. Though when I was willing to make a change, I found a way to leave.
Being with my pimp felt like I was in a prison, yet it was my own mental prison that I was living in. What he did is intolerable, but I had something wrong with me too; I didn’t love myself and I was weak-minded. I let him be the captain, however, I am more than capable of steering my own boat. Although the abuse played a role in keeping me there, it was my mental problems that bound me there.
We must eradicate domestic abuse because it is unacceptable. I am a survivor and I wish for other survivors to know that they are not alone; I hope victims realize that they can break free from the abuse. If we would like to make a significant difference, we must address the entire problem. We need a change in this world and the time is now.