Dear Survivor

Dear Survivor,

We are sorry. We believe you. We stand with you.

We are so sorry. We are sorry for judging you. We are sorry people have doubted you. We are sorry for assuming we can understand your experiences. We are sorry for blaming you. We are sorry for the trauma. We are sorry for your guilt. We are sorry for the time you were robbed of. We are sorry for using words that reinforce a stigma or cause feelings of shame. We are sorry for assuming we can rescue you. We are sorry for believing Hollywood clichés. We are sorry for not following your lead. We are sorry for treating you like you are only your story. We are sorry for asking for more details than you can give. We are sorry for the hurt you still live with.

We believe you. We believe you were hurt. We believe you experienced violence. We believe you faced incredible injustices. We believe you were targeted. We believe you were coerced. We believe you were exploited. We believe you were the victim. We believe it wasn’t your fault. We believe it isn’t easy to tell your story. We believe you are more than your story. We believe you feel broken, even when you appear strong. We believe in your strength. We believe in your courage. We believe you will conquer your demons. We believe you will heal. We believe in your success. We believe in your persistence. We believe in your dreams.

We stand with you. We stand in solidarity with you and are humbled you would entrust us with your story. We stand ready to help lift your voice. We stand ready to follow your lead. We stand ready to show you we can be trusted. We stand ready to be part of the solution. We stand ready to fight to change the culture. We stand ready to fight against injustice. We stand ready to help you rise. We stand ready to help you pursue your desires to help change the world. We stand with you in this fight. We are sorry. We believe you. We stand with you.

With love and admiration,

Your Supporters, your allies, your tribe, your friends and family, your fan club, and the many others who join with you in this fight again Human Trafficking.

Joy Hayes is a wife, homeschooling mother of three, and saved by grace. She is committed to pursuing justice for the oppressed, especially women and children, and is currently working towards a master’s degree in Social Justice from Kilns College in Bend, Oregon.

Your Life is Art