We work with people from all walks of life from all over the world. We have met all kinds of lovely people and all kinds of evil people. We have met human traffickers and trafficking survivors. We have met rapists and rape survivors. We have met murderers and have picked up bodies. We have met hostage takers and hostages. We have met kidnappers and kidnapping survivors. Here is part of a story as told to us by a serial rape survivor…
“I was raped at gunpoint by a total stranger. I was raped by the man I loved, trusted, and intended to marry. I was raped by a superior officer in my chain of command. I was raped by a pastor I trusted; one to whom I went for counsel in my hour of need. I was raped by a police officer with whom I worked. These were all separate occurrences. Some of these were years apart in my life. Some were separated only by months. They all have one things in common. Trust. I trusted each one of these men. They were in positions of authority in my life. They were my superiors. They were tasked with the mission of protecting me from external harm and of looking out for my well-being. They all took direct advantage of my trust in them and of my subordinate position. They used me for personal pleasure, heedless of what is cost me.
I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Do you know why? C-PTSD differs from PTSD in two important ways. It is the result of long-term abuse and cumulative trauma and it is also the result of being abused by those whose function was to protect me. I ask myself why all the time. Why would a fiancé or a pastor or a policeman or a superior officer rape me? Why? Each time I needed something that was withheld. I needed something. I was not in a position of strength. Each time I trusted him enough to be alone with him. You know what? I understand the total stranger with the gun. I was a target of opportunity for a man who intended to perpetrate a violent crime. But the others… I don’t know if I will ever understand. I feel like a trafficking victim. Think about it. A police officer. A pastor. An officer. A regular guy. These are the cardinal points on the compass in the trafficking world. These are the categories of men who become “Johns” and buy what the pimps are selling.
Now I live with an STD and C-PTSD. I always will. I have even had miscarriages as a result of these acts. These are not wounds that heal. I cope. I focus on life. I learn how to live anyway. I even get ahead in many areas. But ask me about my experiences and I can feel my body respond. My heart rate escalates. My hands sweat and shake. My pupils dilate. My stomach is filled with nervousness. My respiration rate goes up. I have trouble concentrating. My emotional state gets very serious. I am not the person I want to be. I want to be whole. I want to be pure. I want only good memories. These people took those things away from me and it is up to me to be strong and to thrive. So now, here are my goals:
Breathe. Live. Thrive. Forgive. Grow. Learn. Serve. Help. Care. Protect. Defend. Prevent.”