Human Trafficking Survivor Responds to Those Who Ask Why She Didn't Just Run Away...and It Will Break Your Heart

With all of the fuss about the border, human trafficking has been in the public discourse more than usual.

However, we still don’t really talk about it enough and certainly don’t address. I’ve often wondered aloud why that is. I’ve been reporting on the wickedness of pedophilia in Hollywood for a couple of years now. There is a strong element of human trafficking wrapped up in all that. Why don’t people talk about this more?

I suspect the subject is both too tragic and too vague for most people to address regularly. It is hard to absorb the degradation of vulnerable women and children. Sometimes for our own sanity we just look away. However, sometimes the problem is that we don’t really understand what ‘human trafficking’ means. We don’t know how it starts, who it hurts and most of all, we don’t understand why women (and men) just don’t simply leave their traffickers. After all, this is America. It’s a free country. If you are being hurt, just walk away.

It isn’t that easy, of course…and trafficking comes in a lot of forms. It involves both child victims and adult victims. It doesn’t always look like abuse. Sometimes it just looks like prostitution and we assume the women are consenting participants. There is a whole underbelly to the trafficking world that is so filthy and soul-crushing that it causes too many of us to turn our heads.

One woman recently posted an amazing thread detailing her nearly 20 years as a victim of human trafficking. Amanda Blackwood is an author, model and speaker but on Tuesday she took to Twitter to share her harrowing story of how she became entangled in the human trafficking world and why it took her so long to get out.

There are some pretty illuminating details in here. For those of us who have been blessed to live in relative peace, it is hard to imagine being so abused and so hopeless that we would keep falling into the same traps. We don’t fully understand the power of the spirit, and how a broken spirit can attract broken people who break us even more. Amanda’s story is powerful, and deserves to be shared.

Amanda hit the nail on the head when she talked about blame. Children have a way of making everything about themselves. When something traumatizing happens to a child – abuse, divorce, etc. – they internalize it as their fault. It becomes a type of shame that follows them wherever they go.

I hope this young woman has found freedom from that shame, and I hope that reading her story will encourage us all to be more vigilant, to be more courageous in looking evil in the eye and to be more tender with each other.

Follow Ms. Blackwood on Facebook or on Twitter @LadyBlackwood.