Dedicated with deep love to Chelsea, Lauren, Simone, Jacqueline, Natasha, Nikolaos, Beth, Kelly, Lily, Chris, Trisha, Kerri, Kristen, Alisha and Tanja.
Today it is my tenth anniversary of this blog.
Jeez, not sure what that means or is. Maybe paper or plastic.
But I am amazed at that I have kept going for ten years, and deeply saddened that my blog has to exist.
I will try to write to this moment in time, with a broken heart and fragmented memory – I will write striving for hope.
Ten years is a short and long time, ten years is hard to frame when for too much of my life staying alive for that long seemed a distance dream.
That was the past, and this is now.
I write to find that undiscovered land – the place where I learnt I could think in ten years, and not be amazed I was awake in the morning.
This blog is a landmark, it is my gift to the future.
I hope in that future, this and all the words of exited women will be museum pieces or parts of research into the reasons men ever thought prostitution could be acceptable.
But now as I write, I am ill and close to breaking point.
Ten years of writing, ten years of campaigning and ten years of digging deeply – and how much had changed for the prostituted.
Yes, I celebrated that a few more countries have gone towards the Nordic Approach.
But most still rarely punish the punters, rarely close down prostitution or provide proper exiting programmes.
It hard to celebrate my tenth anniversary as the sex work lobby pollutes every mention of prostitution on the media.
For ten years, the lies and hate speech of the sex work lobby has been a shadow to every blog that I write.
I am proud to say that mainly pretend to ignore my work, framing it as not relevant and just an individual view.
As they ignore, they still send “advice” to improve my work.
Suggest I get help for my mental health issues, suggest I am confuse because I abused as a child, suggest I could never be prostituted coz my family are rich.
Nice advice that goes straight to the trash.
Then there is constant information freely given by the sex work lobby.
Telling me it is a lie that prostitution is as violent as I write, telling it MUST of illegal if was as violent as I say.
Telling me to give proof of where, when and how my supposed prostitution happened – asking if was so bad where were the police or other help, if was so bad how come you are alive.
I throw their kind advice to the trash.
The sex work lobby would love to silence me, and all other exited folks who speak truth to power.
We were not meant to have survived the sex trade. We were disposable.
Our voices were meant to disappear.
To speak as an exited woman is to be the impossible.
That is to be the one that more than got away – but be the who remembers and can be a witness that shows the rotting heart of the sex trade.
The hardest part of writing this blog, is knowing that my family can never believed that I was prostituted.
Knowing this is true for the majority of exited women is saddening, but give me inner strength.
My family who I love, cannot see or know such an ugly truth, so they blame anything else for my mental health issues.
This is understandable, and as long as we stay clear of the subject, it is fine.
But, I love to build a future where all exited women were held by the good members of their families with belief.
Anyhow, happy anniversary to me – the best thing would be if in the next ten years there was no need for a blog like this.