When are people going to start caring about victims and survivors of sexual trafficking and abuse?

I know that’s a big question but I’m tired y’all. I am exhausted every single day of just getting out of bed. I know that this is my battle, and I know that things are going to get better, one day, but for the time being things suck and I don’t know what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

The only reason I am so miserable right now is because I was a victim of child sexual abuse and trafficking and no one cared. No one noticed the signs or paid attention to how much work it took for me to survive until it was too late, and now that everyone has heard my story, I am at a loss as to what I am supposed to do next to get people to realize that it’s still happening to other people.

A long-standing 2002 report by the International Labor Organization estimates that up to 1.2 million children may be trafficked each year. Many are hidden from national authorities and anti-trafficking organizations. – UNICEF

Yesterday I had the honor of attending Jagmeet Singh’s Town Hall in Surrey BC, and I got to listen to him eloquently share his ideas for the future of Canada. I tried like many others to ask a question, but I didn’t get the chance to say “what about me?”

I am thirty-six years old, I am living on Disability and I am one of the many children who fell through the cracks, who became an adult still trying to crawl out of the hole I was ditched into, and no one seems to care.

There are people in this city who are fully expecting that one day I will return to the same Biker’s and Gangsters that I used to call friend, because that’s the only real family I had, forgetting that although they were family it doesn’t mean they were stable people for me to be around.

I got out of that life because I wanted to have a real chance at survival, I wanted to have children and I wanted them to be born into a world that wasn’t surrounded by drugs and gangs. I did everything right when I left, I walked away and burned as many bridges as I could on my way out to ensure that not only did I not have to go back, there was no way that I could slide backwards, and here I am now trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

Please don’t congratulate me, tell me what the next step is. Please don’t tell me how strong I am, point me in the direction of the next path that leads me to happiness, because this is the reality of life as a survivor.

When I talk about my experience I can always tell the moment that people check out, it’s not that they don’t believe me, it’s that they don’t want to believe me, because no one wants to know that the face of sexual trafficking is a brown woman who isn’t afraid to speak out.

If you don’t acknowledge it, then it can’t possibly be happening, but as I write this a girl or a boy is being raped at this exact moment. I want you to remember that every single second of the day. No matter what you are doing, someone is being raped, beaten, or tortured against their will at the pleasure of someone else’s sick idea of how people should be treated. – Devon J Hall

Yes I am doing my part but it’s not enough. The Surrey Women’s Center has a six month waiting list for women who need counselling, they need more support and help. It’s all well and good to talk about what the NDP, Conservatives and Liberals intend to do for those suffering from mental health but until real options are available I am here, writing on my blog hoping someone will hear me.

I am not doing okay because I barely have the strength to get out of bed most days, let alone clean my house. I do the bare minimum because I am emotionally and physically drained each and every day from the vivid never ending stream of bad memories, and there is no way to get over them without finding a way to replace them.

I am lucky that the same Bikers and Gangsters I walked away from have given me enough support to write this blog, to use it as a tool to out the real culprits of my -last- gang rape event, but it’s not enough. I need more.

I need more help and I need people who are willing to stand with me and say enough is enough.

I am so proud of all the kids who stood up and said enough last week, who are fighting against climate change and doing their part. However those kids had the luxury of participating in such an event, what about the kids who are falling through the cracks and begging for help? What about the kids who are so angry and broken their only solution is to bring a gun to school in an attempt to stop the pain?

I understand those kids because I fell through the cracks, and while I had a hundred or more really good people to help pull me out, it took thirty-five years for that to happen. It took thirty-five years for people to notice that someone was drowning and needed help, and now that those people are gone and I am alone, all I can think is what about the others?

That’s it. That’s the post today.

Sending all my love to the forgotten ones, this is my promise that I remember you exist,

Devon J Hall

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