Written by Ahuva Sheli (pseudonym), a survivor of prostitution
Hi, how are you? I am writing you this letter, hoping you will read it to the end.
Like you, I became trapped in the prostitution cycle five years ago. I had been previously raped, and violent partners took my kids from me. My children were placed in institutions where they experienced rape attempts, mental and physical abuse, all of which was silenced leading me to rely more heavily on drugs. I understand. Like you I went through hell, met Satan, slept with him and was paid by him. I lived in a world of delusions and heard voices. I was like you. I still choke sometimes – don’t think it’s otherwise. I did blow jobs to survive, slept with all sorts of men for money, I am neither more nor less than you. Like you I wept at night and I know what it’s like to live without parents, without a family, and having no one to turn to. Hardly knowing what to do. Thinking of freedom. It is not freedom. It’s a trap!
I felt dead, just like you and I wanted to start living. I want you to live, to get up and call for help, not to give up on life. I too, like you, was lost. I tried to work in a few places but was refused a job, I tried cleaning homes but I had no home or clothing and I reeked, so no one took me on.
I got no national insurance and no rent subsidy because they claimed I was able to work. Prostitution scarred me, you know. The same scar that you have, don’t hide it. I used drugs like a dressing for a wound, but that didn’t cure me. Just made it worse. Much worse. You are my sister. Stand up, get up I promise it is not too late. I can’t promise everything will disappear, but the intensity of the pain will lessen. The dread will let go eventually. You are strong!!! I am here to support you, draw some encouragement, talk to me, share with me, I will help!
I remember what it was like standing at an intersection, that feeling when a stranger touches you, and you want to die. And then swallowing drugs to make it go away, but it doesn’t go away with the drugs. And then detaching, knowing what it means to survive the streets. Together we can succeed, only come on, do something, don’t give up when darkness descends, wrapping your soul and pumping despair into your veins. There, in the street or in the car think of me sister, and don’t forget, we can overcome!
Let’s join forces, go to organizations, let’s not give up, let’s start to see the light. Yes, I know it’s scary, without faith, but all is not lost. I am calling on you to rise, you who are dead walking through the land of the living. Get up and take action, it is possible to get out, I know, despite the shackles on your arms and legs and the eyeshades binding you to a post in the street.
Come, we’ll help you, there are many places to go to today, we are no longer alone! We’ll untie your chains that are slowly killing you. How can you die when you are already dead? They are murdering you, don’t help them! I know that in your silence you are crying out “no more”.
Get up sister, you are no longer alone.