*(This letter was written by “Amber,” a survivor of sex-trafficking who was recruited into prostitution at the age of fourteen [she is now an adult]. She was recently rescued and is currently doing well and healing, in the good care of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery. She bravely wrote this “Open Letter” to all the Johns/Tricks/Mongers who think that Prostitution is a victimless crime. We felt that it deserves to be read by everyone.)

 

Dear “John,” 

 

If you like sex, that’s okay.  If you love women, that’s normal. If you are a good man, listen up.  If you are a man who thinks it is okay to buy women for sex, this is for you.  If you think that you are paying for sex in a “mutually beneficial” arrangement, think again.  If you think you are “helping me” in any way, I am directing this at you.  If you are an evil man who treats women with disrespect, feel free to disregard.  This is letter to all of those johns who consider themselves “good” men.

 

I have met so many of you—too many—in all shapes and sizes; old men, young men, fat, skinny, married, single, drug dealers, lawyers, police officers; I have seen them all.  You are not special.  None of you.  I do not understand how you justify yourself.  You think putting your penis inside of me is okay because you are “kind.”  That place is the most private part of me.  And even though it is “for sale,” it was never meant to be.  I never wanted it to be.  Could you ever see your daughter in this business?  No?  Guess what, I am someone’s daughter, too.

 

That money that you give me?  You’re not paying me.  You’re paying some man just as disgusting as you are.  You buy me like property in a store.  You compare my looks to the looks of the girls next to me and decide that I am most your type.  Before you bought me like a doll, enclosed in plastic, did you ever once stop to think that there is a human being with a mind, heart, and soul of their own behind that body that you lust for so much?

 

You think you are okay.  You didn’t hit me or rob me.  You didn’t roofie my drink.  You asked me how my day was going.  Maybe you asked me how I got “caught up in this.” Here’s a hint, I lied to you.  You stroked my hair and gave me a back massage.  Maybe even got me to smile.  Here’s another hint…I’m the best actress you have ever met.

 

But you never asked about my scars.  You never asked about the bruises and the burns.  Or maybe you did.  Some of you ask if someone is hurting me.  Did you ever take a look in the mirror as you asked this?  Because there is someone right there.  You are the sweet, kind rapist.  A victimless crime, you say?  The damage is irreversible—damage that you as well as the man after you and the man after him will all help to cause.  You call yourself my friend, you bring me gifts from time to time. I hate you all the same.  My smile allows you to trick yourself.  Why do you think they call it a trick anyway?

 

Sure, maybe you lost a few dollars.  I had to dish out something, too.  I had to swallow my pride, fake a laugh, and pretend that I don’t feel like it’s rape every time you penetrate me.  You think because you hold me after that, that it doesn’t hurt so bad, but it’s even worse.  Don’t hold me like I am yours because I am someone else’s. He treats me like property just like you.  And he paid a lot more for me than you did.  He is probably hiding in the next room.  Your warm, sweet embrace makes me even more sick than when you were pounding away at my body…and more importantly, my sanity.

 

Everybody loves me, but nobody loves me.  Do you understand that? I know you do.  Because you love me, but you don’t love me.  You have fooled yourself into thinking that your sweet demeanor makes you less harmful.  And that since I smile or laugh, that you are not so bad. You think I enjoyed your company just as much as you enjoyed mine.

 

You say you are a “good man” and that the words I speak could never pertain to you.  Open your ears.  And next time you meet a girl like me, ask yourself not how she got there, but who put her there.  Who is benefiting from her having sex with you, because it is not her.  If you look into her eyes and don’t see your daughter, then you are just as sick as the man before you, and the man who most certainly will come after.  If you have convinced yourself that your actions are warranted and that you are not hurting anyone…then the trick worked on you after all.  Welcome to The Game, buddy.

 

Sincerely,

Amber, That Girl You Say You Never Hurt

 

Submitted by PASS

Comments

comments

7 COMMENTS

  1. Amber's truth is indeed powerful. Her pain and anger are real and I have no intention of questioning them or policing how she has chosen to express herself. What I take exception to is the editorializing, both by PASS aka Kathryn Xian and by the Hawaii Reporter. It is disgusting for them to take a story like Amber's, a story of trafficking and exploitation, and pretend that hers is the story of all sex workers to help accomplish their abolitionist political goal of further criminalization of sex work. In doing so they and the moralizing busybody HI Ledge have helped create a more dangerous world for sex workers. By pretending that there is only one narrative of sex work (let's be real how many other current or former sex workers were asked for their opinions or got published in HR? None? Exactly!) the media and public have perpetuated a lazy delusion which will show up in the police blotter stats in future years – in the body count of people who society _now has even more reason to assume_ are victims without any agency. Sure, write me off

  2. Sure, write me off; this comment means nothing and will accomplish nothing. But before you make any conclusions you should listen to a wide range of sex workers' voices (the only voiced that really matter in this convo TBH). Find out what they think about "end demand" aka Nordic Model. Educate yourself. Don't believe the answer that's pushed on you with smoke and mirrors, where the real story of one woman's suffering becomes the reason to criminalize, erase, infantilize and shame thousands of others. STOP and THINK. ~Aloha~

  3. prostitution should be legal.government and especially law enforcement agencies have no business getting involved in sex among consenting adults.human trafficking and sex or any abuse with minors is illegal,immoral and there are laws on the books.

  4. Not for a second do I believe that this was written by a working prostitute. If any part was indeed written, it was heavily edited and corrected by another person with an agenda.

    Accountability is needed on all levels. Even for a 14 year old who steps into a container in Uzbekistan or Singapore to get to the USA illegally. She has parents. She knows she risks something. Not that it makes it right, but do not think for a second that all males would get ever immune to a sexed up girl taunting them on the sidewalk. Many will risk to get embarrassed, pick pocketed, arrested, catch an STD, beaten by a pimp, or worse. They still going to fall for a hooker. Always did, always will.

  5. wow….this is very touching. These girls have some incredible stories and we can't even imagine what they go through. we just judge them right away…

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