I am extremely proud of making the speech to Feminists in London, but this post is about the incredible toll it has had on me.
First, I know I came across as strong and in control during the speech. That is a role that I do on automatic.
To survive prostitution, I often had to appear outwardly in control and calm.
To live one life in prostitution and one life as a normal granddaughter, normal going on holiday person, normal in the pub woman – I learnt to be a control freak.
Only I survive by refusing to have feelings, killing off any vulnerability and not allowing that anything was real.
This I cannot do any more. Now I am in a terrible state.
Sure, I do know I will be ok. I always am.
But I want and need more than being strong, more than how well I cope, more than always fighting just to remember to put one step in front of the other.
I need women who read this blog, or have other connections with me, to support me through thoughts/prayers, through jokes, through music, through pictures, through confronting friends who say stupid stuff about prostitution, through signing anti-prostitution petitions, through not saying sex workers or free choice anywhere near me, and through just viewing anti-sex trade work as connected to anti-slavery and a fight for basic human rights.
I need that some of you do small things to change attitudes to the sex trade.
I don’t need to do big things, if that means it is too hard and you yet again abandon prostituted women and girls.
Do something however small – for each small action mounts up.
Do something – for women and girls are being tortured now.
Do something – for girls are being recruited now.
Do something – because women and girls are being raped so often now, that they cannot name it even as abuse.
Do something – for exited women have to live with extreme trauma without no specialist help, or so little they feel guilty asking for it.
Just don’t turn away.
Too many women and girls are murdered or just cannot live for you to have that luxury.