Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 5: for Janna

Today's post contains very mature and disturbing content.  I choose to include it because as mature people, we need to look at the brokenness and help fix it.  I find that all too often, I'd rather turn my head than risk my American dream becoming unsanitary, yet my Savior was the one who spent time with the most unsanitary people of his day.  Nonetheless, please be advised and exercise discretion.

 A little over a mile and a half from where I run stands the house of a child offender.  My route passes his house.  He lives in the middle of a very busy square, busy enough that there would easily be at least 20 people within earshot were I to yell, and I always make sure to run on the opposite side of the road.  He's fat, slow, and mentally impaired, so I could easily outrun him (anyone could), and if he's on one side of the street, I always make sure to cross and run on the other.  He's never noticed me running past before.  Well, until today.  He didn't talk to me or anything like that.  I just kicked a rock, it made a slight noise, he looked up, then looked back down.  His reaction was completely normal, yet just one look from him made me feel violated.  I picked up my pace and told myself to never run that way again ever in any conditions other than broad daylight with a huge crowd of people.  For the rest of my run, I whined in my head about how uncomfortable his presence made me and I felt deeply offended.  Then I read Janna's story, and I was embarrassed at my petty complaint:

Janna's Story:
“In the karaoke bar I welcomed customers standing in a line with other girls. The customers looked me up and down from my toes to my head, before deciding whether they would choose me. If a customer didn’t choose me, he would say and do derogatory things to me, such as throwing alcohol at my body. I saw many girls there being threatened with a gun or hit by customers, in order to force them to go to a guesthouse with the customer.
I felt like I was a game for the customer to play; when he needed me he took me to play, and when he didn’t need me he threw me away. I felt different to other people – I felt small. I was beautiful its true, but my value was small. Other people had education and a good life, with value. I felt life was too hard because I had no value. At night I used to sweat all over and experience intense fear and hyperventilate. I wanted to kill myself.
Since I started to work at Daughters these feelings have reversed; I know I have self-worth, and people don’t look down on me. I feel happy and valued. Before I earned a lot of money, and at Daughters I get less, but here no one looks down on me and I feel peace in my heart, nobody despises me.
I would like to help other sex workers to stop that life-style and change their lives, this is my plan. I want to be a counsellor.”

A 12 year old girl, also from Daughters, drew a series of pictures of what her life was like in the sex trade.  Her picture is very upsetting.  Yet this is what is happening every single day.  There are more slaves alive now than the amount of all the slaves who have ever lived.  We can't ignore them any longer.



Because He first loved me,

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