a lens into those forgotten

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3/28/14 JO

Jo is a story teller. She likes to talk about her triumphs and life experiences. Jo told me about the second time she was raped. Jo was raped by a man who sneaked up behind her with a rope. He wrapped the rope around her neck and dragged her around the corner to rape her while she was fading in and out of consciousness. Jo told me after her rape incident it ended up being a crime scene. She encountered the police after she gained consciousness and he said, “Well I’m off duty now but  I guess I’ll make a call.” The next encounter was with the sex crimes unit where a lady asked Jo, “Are you sure you weren’t being gagged and not strangled?” The final encounter Jo had with these idiots was when they asked her to stop crying. 

I am disgusted and appalled. 

Imagine this. Imagine getting raped, and not one soul caring that someone was ripped from you. How would you then feel about yourself? How is Jo every supposed to heal from this traumatic event if she has no support systems. How is it possible that the people we call for help can also be so hurtful and useless.

I can’t help but to put myself in her situation. If I was raped, not only would I be able to seek justice and lock my perpetrator up but I would also have media spreading light about what happened, where this happened, I would have the whole nation by my side. Whereas Jo, has no one. Maybe because of her economic status, or maybe because she is minority, or maybe because she is a victim of sexual exploitation. Whereas society views her as a criminal and worthless. 

I see Jo as a symbol of strength. I see Jo as a woman I look up to. She is the most humble person I know. Jo lives in intense poverty, where she does not know where her next meal is coming from. But yet she smiles. Jo has few clothes, but yet she lets other women choose first and she chooses her clothing last. She is truly an example of strength. 

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You think that I don’t love you or that I cannot see

That the day I let you go it wasn’t meant to be

You think that I don’t cry or say a lullaby

All this pain I feel inside, it makes me want to die

My world was crazy, to many drugs for me

I only did what was right, so I let you be

Never introduced you to this world of mine

Mommy’s little girl on a run with a major crime

Now she’s scared and sick, don’t know what to do

Mommy’s nowhere to be found so she calls this guy named Lou

Lou lived in the neighborhood he gets a bag of dope,

He gives it to this little girl, and shoots it in her throat.

Now she’s doped and dry, goes home to go to bed

I come home from getting high and find my daughter dead.

This is what it could’ve been but that chick ain’t me

I only did what was right

So I let you be

Now you’re all grown up

Beauty as can be

And that’s the love I have for you,

The day I set you free.

-Written by a woman sexually exploited-

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The Start Of This Blog

I have been working with women sexually exploited within the commercial sex industry since August of 2013. I have created this blog to share my journey while working with this population. I have been moved by the resiliency and strength that these women have shown simply by surviving. I have gone through a roller coaster of emotions while working with this population and I want to share not only my experience but more importantly the amazing stories of this unseen population. I am a passionate advocate for women sexually exploited and here are our stories.