I have been thinking about the year that I have just had. I needed to know why it had been such a roller-coaster of a year.
At this time last year, my Dad was beginning to ill.
For several years, he had been going in and out of sickness, so my family were not too worried at first. But as Christmas rolled in, we all slowly realise how serious it was.
He died in January, and it was terrible, but he was suffering so much.
Dad’s death has been with all this year. He was a good dad, but also my best friend. The farther from his death, the more I miss him.
All this year I have the shadow of grief with me. This is not bad, for it has given me a sense of mission.
I want my campaigning work to make a real change. In my heart, I campaign to make Dad bloody proud of me.
One way, I dealt with a little part of my grief was by going to the Hillsborough Memorial Service in Liverpool.
There was an open showing of the rawness of grief and the search for justice.
I went as a football fan, and left feeling a connection as exited prostituted woman.
I was crying tears of no justice for every torture I had to survived; no justice as johns rape, maim and mentally abused, and came away feeling nothing much has happen; no justice as the women are named whores and the men jack the lads.
Inside Hillsborough I felt some solidarity. I was proud to grieve.
Throughout this year, my blog has a power that sometimes makes me scared. Power to make real change.
My blog has changed attitudes, made others very angry, has given women the will to exit prostitution, has been called lies, has made my family hate my words, made other members of family very proud of my determination, made me so sick, gone to Canada, Australia, USA, Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand and Italy (those are the places I know).
I find it hard to believe that in less than two years it has such power.
What makes me very proud is that my blog is continually used to further anti-sex trade campaigns in England and other countries.
I am proud to be quoted, all I ask is the politeness to ask and tell me exactly where my words are going. Well, that’s manners ain’t it.
The power of my words means I am attacked by the pro-sex trade lobby and it’s cronies.
This is a back-handed compliment, but it hurts so much and can paralyse me if I am not careful.
I am attacked for daring to be still alive. To have the courage to not just remember the tortures and hate, but that is the foundation of the sex trade. Not just to remember, but to speak out in the public sphere.
Prostituted women are not meant to survive – and if they do live, then through the constant mental abuse they are meant to forget.
Most exited prostituted cannot or will no remember what they were forced to live inside. Most cut away that part of their life.
But few can cut away the damage and trauma that is in their body and mind after being prostituted.
I feel my blog is more than my experiences, it has become a voice for so many exited prostituted women who have been silenced.
This year, was when Polanski once again was in the headlines. This triggered for me memories of my stepdad and his arrogance that raping me was nothing, coz I must have wanted it.
I choose to dismiss my stepdad, for he throw away a large part of my life – so why should I care about his.
This year was taken up a lot with preparing and giving a speech for Feminists in London.
I am still shocked by how my speech had the power to altered many women’s attitudes to prostitution. I placed it as human rights issues, I speak freely that it torture, that if there is choice it is the limited choices of the trapped. I called johns rapists and criminals, and that we must stop making excuses for them.
The most important part of my speech was to say if you place yourself in my shoes – that is being gang-raped, forced anal sex and deep-throating – and still say prostitution is harm-free and you would do it – then maybe then, I will say prostitution is ok.
Prostitution must have a human face, not just statistics, essays and gossip – but real women and girls that lived inside torture and degradation.
Women and girls who could be you, if a few things went wrong in your life.
If you would not accept sexual torture in your life – why the hell do you think there some separate class of women and girls that will.
In June, my stepmum died. This meant a whole layer of my family was gone.
London was changed for me, for it became the place that I campaign in, rather than a family home.
It give me a freedom to fight for real change, for I could be more fully into my work, without having to close it down.
This opening up brought out my rage and grief, at why I am campaigning so damned hard.
I campaign so more girls go into the hell that I was forced to live with. That is my dream, it may be miles away – but I will never stop dreaming.
This year, my dreaming was give a piece of hope. The House of Lords passing Clause 14, was a route towards changing attitudes to say that men have no right to buy women and girls just for their orgasms.
It is not ideal, and a long way from stopping prostitution. But it was spoken as a humans rights issue for the prostituted – not the rights of men to have sex when and wherever they want.
It is the start of the beginning – but a damned good start.
It added to the celebration at Reclaim the Night this year.
At the end of this year, I went to a meeting about why men choose to buy sex. This was very hard for me, coz their justifications are like poison in my body.
All this I have had extreme trauma – not all the time, but a shadow that sticks close to me.
I have continue to campaign through trauma, I have had to put up with attacks through trauma, I have grieve the loss of Dad through trauma, I have written my blog through trauma.
I am very proud of that.
And to end, this year I have built on my friendships and they solid – that is a major achievement.