I am very open about being a human-trafficking survivor and the abuse I lived through. I share this because my goal is to educate all segments of society to combat modern-day slavery and torture. However, there are people who feel strongly to ask me very personal and inappropriate questions after hearing I am a torture survivor. Questions like “So, have you ever been with a man voluntarily? Will you ever have sex? Are you able to get turned on?
Let me start with this: It’s none of your business. My sexuality and my intimacy is between me and God and my spouse. Period.
I am not going to apologize for healthy boundaries. Yes, I do educate on sex-trafficking, I do speak openly about the abuse. However, I am not sharing much detail of the abuse publicly. Why? Because I deserve privacy as well. This all isn't about me. I am safe and healthy and I am happy. I couldn't care less whether you listen to me or even believe me. This is not about me. But this is all about those who are still out there, traumatized every day in ways we both do not want to imagine.
If you feel prompted to ask questions you would never ask me face to face, please don’t.
I speak on behalf of many survivors. If the first question you can think of is inappropriate, please stop.
After someone shares that they are a survivor, come up with things like “I am so proud of you for sharing that. Thank you for trusting me with this. O BELIEVE YOU” Etc. You do not get to judge or question the process of surviving. All that matters is that the person in front of you survived. It does not matter how long it takes or how she/he got there.
Be sensitive and gentle. Ask yourself, what you want to hear when you share the worst memory of your life with someone.
Asking inappropriate questions just objectives the survivor again and is abusive as well. You don’t want to be an abuser.
We all need healthy boundaries so that we all can have wonderful connections and relationships. Please understand the difference. My body belongs to me and my body is a temple, so is yours. Treat your temple and everyone else’s temple the way God would want you to treat it. With love, compassion, gentleness and kindness.
I am a human-trafficking survivor and we survivors are much, much more than just our bodies.