A Day Out of the life. Looking back & Moving Forward - Lifting our Voices.

My Journey: Seasons Of Healing (Who I am today)

Poem #2:

Sometimes, it comes back.
It’s Vivid Like Yesterday’s Sun.
But in reality – it’s DARKER,
DARKER than storm clouds on a rainy day.
It BURNS hotter than a summer sun.
It HURTS more than falling hail hitting your skin like bullets.
And at times, it is so much LOUDER than the CRACK of a tree branch, or the RUMBLE of thunder, or the BURSTING or fireworks.
IT IS MY TRUTH.
But, I can’t let it define me. I WON’T.
I survived. I am strong. I am a voice for others.
It’s been a over a decade. 13 years to be exact.
Time passes as slow as leaves falling from a tree during the fall, but as fast as lightning strikes during an unexpected storm at the same time.
2002: I was 9 or 10 years old, no timeline.
Their hands touched me like fire more than once. BURNING HOT. Unwanted.
2004: I WAS 12 YEARS OLD. I remember everything.
It was a warm spring day, but a COLD reality.
His hands touched me like fire. BURNING HOT. Unwanted. Fingers and Tongue; Inside me , all over me.
2006: Speak justice into healing. A small conviction but my voice was louder and healed me more than any conviction sentence.
Waves of healing – peaks and valleys ; but hope lingers no matter what.
Don’t let your dreams be just dreams, or gone with the wind, I didn’t.
2017: The sun shines so often now.
I cannot get lost among the clouds and storms.
So much has changed for the better and beautiful in its time – like the seasons.
The seasons of healing.
Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall.

Where I am
Free by the ocean, living by my favorite place (the beach)
Working in my DREAM JOB at 26, as a full time advocate for survivors
Living on my own
Thriving
Reaching for the stars
Limitless
FEARLESS
A voice for others
Present in my body
Caring for myself
Close, Great, Healed relationships with both my parents
Healing and Healed in so many ways beyond what I could have imagined

Who I Am
A Successful 26 year old Woman
Bags of Hope Volunteer
College Graduate
Athlete
Advocate
Activist
Speaker
Poet
Capable
Worth Something
Working on being an author 😉 Book in process
Survivor, Thriver, Victor
Woman of God
Child of the King
HIS Daughter
Comfortable in my own skin
JOYFULL
FaithFULL
Loving and desire to BE loved
Empowered to step into my body confidently as a woman & treating it as the temple that it is
Happy

Authored by: Mel Sachs ©Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.

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A Day Out of the life. Looking back & Moving Forward - Lifting our Voices.

My Journey: Surviving Child Sexual Abuse/Sexual Assault and The Family Disease of Alcoholism (Who I was)

Poem #1

T h e  J o u r n e y

As I look back on my journey,
Of who I have become
The paths that I have crossed
The days I came undone.
This is a reflection of truth
My life, My strength, My pain
A journey through my eyes
What I lost and what I gained.
It started when I was young,
A girl at five or six
Dealing with unexpected outcomes
A Father who was sick
The disease that took him over
But never took him away
A long fight with alcoholism
A young girl begging him to stay.
Some days I used to wonder,
When it was going to end
Lies, Fear and Manipulation
So young, I couldn‘t comprehend.
A few years later
I was never alone
A program full of people
A love that was always shown.
Peace, Love and Serenity
What I was looking for
A second family forever
A smile and a hug for sure.
Finally able to share
What I never wanted to surrender
Finally felt the relief
My heart will always remember.
One year when I was twelve,
I was faced with another fight
Something I was ashamed of
My heart was filled with fright.

A young girl taken advantage of
An acquaintance gone too far
A child held down and violated
The beginning of her scars.
Nightmares and flashbacks haunt her
an everyday struggle
Trying to deal with the pain
Fighting to pick up the puzzle.
Taking it out on herself
Was the only goal
Self-Injury, Restricting
Trying to gain back control.
An interview and a trial
She had to make a choice
She wanted to get her life back
She no longer tolerated a forever silenced voice.
There was a small conviction
Following a long two years
An outcome good and bad
After days and nights of tears.
Another step in her journey
A chapter in her life
That young girl has grown up
And her goal this time is to strive.
A lifetime full of dreams
Have begun to show through
From high school through college and beyond,
[[She‘ll say she‘s gonna show you]]
Her compassion for others
Who have traveled down the same road
A career to bring justice
A voice that says, you are not alone.
A mission to happiness
A beautiful life ahead
I will not back down
I‘ll show my strength instead.

Where I was

  • On a path to self-destruction
  • In a world of self-sabotage
  • Going through the motions, not enjoying life. There was no JOY. I was miserable.
  • Felt like I was too far gone
  • In DEEP emotional pain
  • Full of FEAR
  • HATING my body because of what was done to it
  • Disconnected from my body completely
  • Stuck in a past of child sexual abuse and sexual assault and the aftermath (Court, PTSD, Self-Injury, Restricted Eating, Flashbacks, Anxiety, Memories)

Who I believed I was

  • A Broken child and adolescent
  • Daughter of an alcoholic, worried nothing would get better
  • My Abusers Victim, and a victim in general
  • Defined
  • Forgotten
  • Ashamed
  • Faithless
  • Hopeless
  • Terrified to love and be loved
  • Dirty, Damaged Goods
  • Failure
  • Stuck
  • Guilty
  • Worthless

Authored by: Mel Sachs  ©Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.

 

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A Day Out of the life. Looking back & Moving Forward - Lifting our Voices.

Through My Eyes

She walked through the world, seemingly alone. Sunlight reflecting sadness off of her hazel eyes, wind blowing her purple bangs into them. She walks with confidence even though she had none. Unafraid of the world, but afraid of herself and individuals… but not in the way one may think.

She is unafraid of physical danger, and she’s not afraid to die, because, what did she have to lose? No. She is afraid of the emotional danger, afraid of what one may do to her unsuspecting heart, and subsequently afraid to trust herself.

Her heart, the heart of an innocent, no matter how many times it was beaten, it continued to yearn and beg to love the same way.

“Madness,” she thought.

But secretly, even to her, she loved this about herself. But life has shown her not to be happy with herself, and so she hid this self love in the deepest part of her soul, where not even God could touch… or so she thought.

She always longed for companionship, for someone to love that deserved it. Eventually she had that, this new life growing inside of her that deserved all the love she desired to give. That little life saved hers, but it was short lived… before that life could even live, it was lost, and it was in those devastating moments that she realized that even without child, someone who deserved that love was there… herself.

So she shed herself of the people and things that were causing her greatest pain, and walked into her new life, full of love, from others, her God, and herself. And as she let these healthy people in and reopened her heart to God, everyday became easier… easier to smile, easier to be vulnerable, easier to be open, easier to be happy.

And while everyday may bring a new challenge, she also sees that everyday gives her new opportunities to be happy… to love.

And now, she walks through the world, no longer alone and the sunlight that once reflected sadness and pain in her eyes, now reflects hope.

Authored by: Iris, an Amirah Survivor

©Copyright 2018. Jasmine Grace.

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Articles

White House Appoints Survivors of Human Trafficking

 

National Survivor Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 7, 2018

National Survivor Network Praises the White House’s Announcement of Intent to Appoint Survivors of Human Trafficking to be Members of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

The National Survivor Network (NSN) would like to thank the administration for the appointments of the nine survivors to the U.S. Advisory Council on human trafficking as released by Press Release on March 5th. We congratulate the eight members of the NSN appointed to the council. These appointments show a level of commitment in the attempt to eradicate trafficking in persons in the United States as well as pulls in some of the strongest national leaders in the U.S., it is an honor and a privilege for survivor leaders to play a critical role and work closely with the United States government to end the scourge of trafficking in our own backyard.

The U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking has been a priority to the NSN from its inception. It ensures that survivors of human trafficking are recognized as the experts they are and have a forum to provide information and advice to government agencies working to combat all forms of human trafficking.

NSN would like to see more appointments to fulfill the council of all 14 members; however, we believe this is a noble and appreciated start. Thank you for your continued commitment to the issue and we look forward to assisting in the progress the U.S makes.

 

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Articles

Why We don’t need to Study Decriminalizing Prostitution

No New Hampshire image

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to study decriminalizing prostitution at the behest of pro-prostitution activists. Some of our Representatives were manipulated into believing that decriminalizing the practice of the selling people for sex would be compassionate. In reality, sex should never be called work, and compassion calls for protection.

The fact of the matter is that we should look at our state’s response to prostitution without any thought of decriminalizing the selling of human beings on an open market. And those calling for decriminalization are often the ones making money from the exploitation of others.

Representative Elizabeth Edwards was quoted in the Union Leader this week. “I am worried about those women because it is our laws that make it unsafe,” Edwards said. “They can’t call police if they’re raped or robbed and they don’t have the same access to justice as the rest of us.”

The law prohibiting prostitution does not make it unsafe. It is unsafe because it is prostitution. Commercial sex acts themselves are unsafe, from disease, damage and all sorts of deprivations and trauma. We know this because we lived it.

A young male survivor said, “Men buy girls for sex. They buy boys to abuse them.” Our experience was wrought with violence. It wasn’t because it was against the law. It was because the buyers are often cruel.

Ms. Edwards says that those prostituted individuals don’t have the same access to justice as the rest of us. Decriminalizing prostitution will not help them.

Decriminalizing prostitution will fuel sex trafficking and increase demand for sex tourism in NH. That’s what happened in Rhode Island. It hurt the state’s economy, their businesses, and their people.

Decriminalizing means no law to protect anyone. Police cannot intervene in suspected exploitation or force, because there is no probable cause. The activity isn’t against the law, so an officer has no reason to approach. As for a person calling police, please remember, we call police after assault. Police cannot protect individuals in advance. They can only respond.

Sexual exploitation happens on a continuum. From pornography and stripping to escort services and brothels, women and children are being sold for the use of sex buyers. Is that what we want for NH?

Picture your four year-old. Do you want them to live a life of being raped for profit – when they grow up?

The role of the government is to protect the people. Standards of behavior are crucial to preserving a safe place to live. We have laws against hurting people in other ways. Prohibiting prostitution is a protection we should keep in place.

We are in full agreement with the Governor on this issue.

Abolitionists, like us, call for increased penalties and hefty fines for sex buyers and traffickers. Use those fines to fund services for victims so they can start the difficult work of recovery. It’s bad enough that the people arrested for prostitution are considered criminals when more often than not, they are victims. We believe that lifting the prostitution charges can empower them to move on with their lives and become Survivors. All of this would make NH safer.

Rather than becoming an inviting place for purveyors of human flesh, our state would be a place of elevating people from the brutality of sexual exploitation.

It is not compassionate to be subjugated to a life as an object for someone else’s sexual pleasure. Compassion is taking the time to listen to her story and see that the choice was made for her long before she got trapped in the cycle of abuse that exploitation inevitably brings. Prostitution research says that 80-90 percent of women in the commercial sex trade were sexually abused as children. So think about how the dial has already been turned. What was so freely taken from them, is now going to be paid for, and this seems like an upgrade. This gives the illusion of choice, a better life. But real compassion understands that no little girl dreams of becoming a prostitute.

Life is hard. The core violation of sexual abuse makes it much harder. Let’s never normalize prostitution. Let’s always remember that sex should never be called work. Prostitution denies the innate human dignity due each human being. People should never become commodities to be traded, used and abused. Let’s never normalize that.

Darlene Pawlik
Jasmine Grace

©2018. All Rights Reserved.

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Lifting Our Voices

“A Day Out of the life – Looking Back & Moving Forward, Together”

Some people’s voices are heard loud and clear.
Some people’s voices are quiet, because of a personal fear.
Still, there are others, who don’t have the choice to speak.
Even if they had chance, their words would be too weak.
Some girls are burned, trafficked, and beaten.
Some people’s livelihood and values are purposely cheapened.
All forming a part of an evil economy,
They are seen as nothing more than someone’s commodity.
The reality we live in, that we often chose to ignore.
Is that some people are slaves, maybe even somebody next door.
We thought we got rid of slavery back with the Civil War,
But we don’t realize that today there are more slaves than there ever have been before.
We can sit back and feel bad, we can shake our heads in disbelief,
But unless we take action, we’re not closer to ending their grief.
Will you do nothing about their suffering, turn a blind eye and pretend?
Or will you be one who fights, to see their nightmare end.

Authored by: Katie Haskins

©2018. Jasmine Grace. All Rights Reserved.

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Lifting Our Voices

“A Day Out of the life – Looking Back & Moving Forward, Together”

PTSD is short for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and this an illness that people suffer from. As for me, I struggle with this everyday. There was something traumatic that happened in the lives of those impacted by this when they were younger or even older that was so impactful that it changed their lives. It affects your dreams, and the sounds that are around you. Anything that is out of the ordinary makes you jumpy. As for me, if you enter a room from an angle that I cannot see you in my peripheral vision, that affects me as well. That will cause me anxiety and that is something that I also have to deal with everyday. I have lived at Amirah for over a year now and the doorbell still makes me jump and scream when it goes off as a result of my PTSD.
When it comes to sex trafficking, people really look at it from a movie’s point of view because really that’s the only thing they have to base it off of. The movie Pretty Woman
is the best example I could provide. I wish I could tell you it’s like that, but it is not like that at all. There is no fun involved whatsoever, and once you are doing it regularly your pimp will provide you with some kind of drug. That drug will benefit him because he can control you more, and as for you….it will help you to block the pain. This is not something that you can do and be happy with day after day. You would need something to take your mind to another world while you still had no choice but to continue to do what you’re made to do; to make money for someone else! When you have a pimp, you have no choice but to work and to constantly make money. It never stops and the pain never goes away.
Recovery for me will be a lifelong process because it does not just go away, and sobriety and inner strength are things that you cannot lose sight of. Recovery is hard because you have to think of how long you used and numbed everything that you did not want to feel. Now you get to feel them and look back at those years with a clear mind and see how bad your situation was.                                                                                                I write this having no idea how or why I am alive to be telling people this! When you are lost and trapped in this tunnel, you have no clue how to get out, and you really don’t care so much about yourself or how important you are. I can say that I have been clean and sober for over a year, and it is possible that I survived because I was that girl that did not want to live like that and was looking for that way out. Now I look back at the old me while being in this program and I’m in awe of how far I’ve come. I care a lot about my recovery, but I know that it takes a lot of work and it is not always easy. To me, it is all about putting up a fight and being willing to change your life for the better. Life is like a rollercoaster; you will have your highs and your lows. Even when you fall, it’s about how you pick yourself back up. Life in recovery does not just happen overnight; it might take a year or longer. You need medical insurance, a doctor, a counselor, and you will probably have some medications that you will have to take. Getting back into normal life can be scary and it was for me, but I did it. Now I ride my Ferrari, so to speak, everyday to work.
My goal for 2017 would be to get my life back on track. I want to get a car, and have my own place that I can call home. I want to help as many victims just like me, and let them know that they are not alone, and there are people that do care and want to help. I would love to go on a mission through my church and to help spread the word of God! I pray that this is my year to come where I know what I’m suppose to do with my life. I’m a survivor myself and I’m just getting my toes wet…..I may have been knocked down but I got back up, and I always will. I am grateful for the help I have received, and I’m proud of myself for accepting it.

Authored by: Love

©2018. Jasmine Grace. All Rights Reserved.

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