Medals

I have a dream – a dream that is simple – that survivors of the sex trade are given medals for the sheer determination to stay alive.

I have a dream that statures are placed in every place, in every country, where women and girls have disappeared or been found dead.

That dream would means too many street corners, too many flats, too many clubs, too many saunas, too many back of pubs, too many parks, too many car parks, too many hotels – just too many statures it would crowd everyone out.

But if one in a hundred statures was built then maybe, maybe everyone would stop dismissing the violence that is the centre to the sex trade.

I want every prostituted woman and girl who destroyed by the sex trade to be remembered – not just those unfortunate to die at the hands of a john that kill more than three prostitute.

The disappearances and deaths of the prostituted is no entertainment – that is only of interest to the sensational media, only of interest to be made fiction at some later date.

I want medals and statures to remind and show that the prostituted are full humans.

I want to remember women who are no longer here. I will say here some of their humanity.

I knew women who vanished, I knew their laughter, I would speak drunkenly with them how we would find something more than we had.

These were women I did not allow myself to get too close to – but in the silences we loved each other.

We could not be close for we all knew we may not be there the next day.

And so often the disappearances happened, and the silence grow, and the deadness was the only safe place to be.

The disappearances were being moved round other aspects of the sex trade – moved to another club, another street, another flat, another city, another country.

The disappearances were not just physical – but too many rapes, too much sexual torturing, too many beatings – and the prostitute loses all words, all sense of reality.

And in our guts we knew the disappearances were death.

We knew suicide was a risk of the job – as a manager laugh about. We all were harsh about cutting our bodies, about taking ods, about being care-less about our bodies.

We call it graveyard humour – but inside our essences were not laughing but screaming.

And we live knowing murder was a high risk of the job.

If we never said it out loud – then maybe we would safe.

There little else we could do to protect ourselves.

So every time you came out breathing from some sadistic john – you bloody deserve a medal.

But then I and millions of prostituted women and girls would be drowning in medals.

But it may open eyes of the wilfully ignorant of what it is to be prostituted.

I can dream.

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