This is What a Child Sex Trafficking Victim Looks Like

10626485_10203812008414978_4236199858398616487_n

This is probably the most embarrassing picture of me ever taken. I am hesitant to even post this. Friends say I look adorable and am “The cutest cheerleader EVER.” But to me I simply felt exposed. I was in front of a lot of people, in a skirt no less.

Truth. This is me when I was being commercially sexually exploited and sexually abused by multiple members of my biological family. Everything looking “normal” is a key to how child sexual violence continues.

How can I be smiling in the midst of such horror? My exploiter isolated me by telling me I was more “special” than other little girls. I was often (but not always) “protected” from punches and being thrown against walls.  This was also a few years before I started “getting wise” to understanding what was happening to me and confronted my exploiter.

Granted, my cheerleading “career” was very short-lived. I was embarrassed by the attention and towering over my peers (not to mention the fact I was — and remain — a tomboy who would rather be playing ball in overalls).  I quit after one year and went back to hiding behind my books.

While this photo is personally mortifying, I am grateful this moment in my life was captured on film. Such childhood photos are physical evidence and reminders that we need to look beyond the obvious when keeping kids safe. Just because a child is smiling and participating in activities, doesn’t meet he isn’t hurting or in danger. We must look past the surface to keep kids safe.

KP

www.gofundme.com/supportkpadvocacy

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s