I spent today at an incredible conference geared towards advocating for the trafficked and prostituted. I don’t think I’ve ever been so comfortable saying “I was prostituted”. Nor have I ever gotten such a positive reception after saying that.

There was some discussion about terminology. And I realized that how I refer to myself and to my past has completely changed. I no longer say things like “I was a whore”. I say the exact same thing as stated above, “I was prostituted”. And not even that can encompass the terror, humiliation, degradation, helpless, and emotional death of what being prostituted entails.

Going from whore to exited prostitute makes me realize how fucking huge the problem really is. Because I lived it. I know the belief system that accompanies the word whore. It also makes me realize how much hope there is. Because I lived it… and realize it is not a label of identification, but one of oppression and brainwashing.

I’ve also come to a point where my need to break silence is greater then my fear of exposure and my need for anonymity.

I was recently asked what words I would use to describe myself. Without thinking, I said, “Unconventional, quirky, intelligent, curious, friendly, intense, laid back, quiet, adorable” I was then interrupted, otherwise I would have had more to say about how fabulous I am 😉 It didn’t occur to me until after that my way of describing myself had no self-objectification or sexualization. Nor were any of the attributes that I listed any that described my physicality (adorableness is a trait), but words that ring true with my Self.

Knowing my inherent self-worth is what has really shifted me from being a victim to being a Survivor.

The exploited are Precious, Loved, Worthy. We are to die for.

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