A Christmas Message- from a Human Trafficking Survivor

by guest blogger, Hope Beryl sad Christmas child

The Lord prompted me to begin blogging about my experiences as a human trafficking victim, and Derri graciously gave me an opportunity through End Slavery Tennessee. So grateful for this opportunity to help people understand what it's like during the holidays for people going through the horrors of sex slavery or in the healing process. I pray that my words will educate and bring compassion to the hearts of readers so that you will reach out to those who have been through what I have been through. It was through love that I was set free, and I believe that love is the number one ingredient in setting people free.

Holidays, especially Christmas, remind me of the children I had, that THEY aborted. I, and most trafficking victims, are not given a choice to keep the babies; as soon as they find out you’re pregnant they abort the baby quickly. My exploiters made me hold the babies, barely formed, and said to me, " if you weren't a whore , this wouldn’t have happened." This was another of many tactics to keep me thinking everything was my fault, and that I was the bad person, not them. I wonder what it would be like to hold my babies in my arms now and to tell them that I love them. I have so much love to give. But there will be a day, the Lord told me, when I will hold my babies in my arms! What a beautiful day that will be!

I was kept in the dog house most of the time when I wasn't being sold. My abusers named me the dog Lady, and they called me the Tramp. They made me watch from the sliding glass door, as they would eat and party during Christmas. I was too "naughty" to get food or presents, they said. If they gave me anything at all, I would have to perform sexually to get it.

Watching all of the families, and individuals celebrating Christmas and the holidays together was extremely difficult. My traffickers said that they sold me because I was such a whore and evil. This brought a sense of hopelessness, and dread too. There was always something to be afraid of; no security or place to rest. The people who tortured me were around more when there were holidays, because they weren't working, so every second was spent dreading what they were going to do to me next.

joy to the world

That was my Christmas and holiday time then; now my holidays are filled with love and freedom! I still get sad, and I get lonely, but I'm free!

One of the best things you can do for someone who has been in slavery is to give them freedom to be themselves... To be angry if they are angry, to be sad if they are sad, to be happy if they are happy... because in their past, there was never a time when they could just "be." And that is a priceless gift! Also, ask the Lord to help them see who they really are in Him, and speak encouragement over them! Believe me, that does more than you can ever imagine.

Some of the most difficult times for me to deal with, when I was healing, was when people would judge me. Normally, this was from well-meaning Christian people. There is no way you will be able to have all of the answers, or fix things, but you can love, listen, and accept! We survivors feel like little children in a great big world with no idea what to do, so be patient, like you would with a toddler. The Lord gave me a picture of myself when I was healing—I was a toddler, and I kept falling down OVER and OVER! The Lord didn't get upset with me, with every single step He rejoiced! He helped me back up, again and again! And He kept celebrating my little steps!"

Join me in giving thanks this Christmas that God’s Son came to break the yoke of slavery.

Hope