La liberté s'allume dans les ténèbres. – Nicolas Berdiaev

Dealing in Pain and Sorrow

New beginnings are tough.

Be it starting a new life, a new job, moving to a new country, a new home, meeting new people, or even, starting a new blog. Questions like “what should I write about?”, “will anyone read my blog?” and, more importantly, “what/who am I writing for?” swirl around my mind.

For the longest time my blogs (and I’ve had my fair share of them), have always followed the predictably mundane details of my life, my opinions, my goals. But they’ve always petered out. I put it down to the fact that I really had no goal to blog. I was simply blogging because it was the “cool” thing to do. That, and sometimes, I just needed to let it all hang out.

But this one is different. For one, it’s a lot darker than what I am used to, and for another, it’s not about me. It’s about them. Her. You. And maybe, a little about me.

Liberty. Justice. Dignity.

Three of possibly the most misguided, mistrusted, misunderstood words in the English language. And yet, they hold all our hopes and dreams. Yes, our hopes and dreams.

Liberty, as defined by the Oxford American Dictionaries, is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views. It is also defined as the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved: people who have lost property or liberty without due process. But what is Liberty really? And why does the mere mention of the word evoke within most, if not all of us, this driving desire to overcome, to persevere. To triumph.

“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.” ~M. Grundler

No truer words have been spoken, as the ones found above. Indeed, we take liberty for granted when we have never had it taken from us. Most of us have never known what it is like to look at the world through iron bars, to be forced every day and night to sleep with hundreds of men. To be confined to a small box. To be gang raped, electrocuted, suffocated, humiliated, whipped, burned and molested. We don’t know what it is like to be starved into submission or gang-raped into servitude. We don’t know what it is like to be free one day and a slave the next.

We don’t know what it is like to lose our dignity, our selves, our bodies and ultimately, our lives. We don’t know the desperation, the humiliation, the depression and the hopelessness they feel. We don’t know what it is like to be forgotten, to be anonymous, to be unknown. We don’t know what it is like for people to look at us in disgust, spite and hate. We don’t know what it is like to be treated worse than dogs. We don’t know what it is like to be worthless. We don’t know what it is like to be them.

Who are they? They are the millions of faceless women and children that have been trafficked for the sexual gratification of men across the world. They are ones who have been duped, kidnapped, abused, betrayed and ultimately murdered. They are the forgotten. The nameless and the faceless. The voiceless.

But today they gain a voice. It is my hope that their stories, their voices, their lives will be heard through this blog. And that this blog will inspire you to stand up for their liberty, their justice and most of all, their dignity.

And so, I invite you to come on this journey with me. To join the ranks of those who walked before us, those who walk with us, and those who will walk after us. To stand up and be a part of something that is bigger than you, me and all the petty things that divide us. To reach for something that many others think impossible. To fight for justice. And most of all, to redefine our humanity.

I invite you to become an abolitionist, because, lord knows, you are needed.

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