The woman on the card, Blair, is a sex trafficking survivor. We use the term “survivor” intentionally—she is no longer a victim. With the help of her chosen family and nonprofits in her area, Blair is looking forward to her first holiday season out of The Life.
This is what Blair has survived: 32 years of life, 15 years of prostitution, 14 years of addiction, 13 years of motherhood, and five years, on and off, without custody of her two children. She was introduced to The Life by her first serious partner, the father of her children. It was only supposed to be a temporary solution to their financial troubles; she would only have to sell herself for a short while, until they caught up with the bills. But they never broke even, and they were always “broke,” and Blair was left feeling broken. She turned to overdrinking to cope with the stress of daily life and to dissociate from her body.
Blair is leaving behind her old life like a wilting tree, stripped bare in the winter. There is nothing left for her there. She is choosing to embark on a journey toward real connection. Toward independence, and love, and new life. She is choosing to acknowledge the harm of her trauma without letting it trap her in the past. She is choosing to see her past as part of her but not all of her, and she is looking forward to the future, perhaps for the first time, with hope.
Blair is not a real person, and yet, she is. So many survivors like her are approaching the holidays with a history that mirrors her story, exactly, mostly, or only in part. Through your donations, your volunteer work, your shared posts, and your tough conversations, you have made a difference in Blair’s life—which is to say, in the lives of real survivors.
Thank you for your heart in this movement. Thank you for your activism, big and small.
May your holidays be as merry and bright as Blair’s.