I tweeted a thought a few days ago: “Consider: What do you have in common with a trafficking survivor?  We are ALL broken.  Don’t approach from a place of pity, but equality.”

I’ve been contemplating an attitude I see in the abolitionist movement that seems to regard PEOPLE who have been trafficked as a weak segment of society to be pitied and therefore somehow worthy of the charitable gestures of those PEOPLE who have not been trafficked.

It was a nagging irritation until 5 minutes ago when I read this tweet by a large, well-known abolition organization:  “To be an abolitionist – to truly be in solidarity with the bottom rungs of society, is to act on their behalf.”  It is a direct quote off of their website.

the bottom rungs of society???

Is that how this large, well-known abolition group sees people who have been trafficked?


Now my irritation level is considerably higher than mildly nagging.  Just to make sure I was not taking things out of context or blowing this out of proportion, I went to the website and read the statement in context:

“To be an abolitionist, an activist, or an advocate – to truly be in solidarity with the bottom rungs of society, is to act on their behalf. It cannot be an exercise in passivity. With knowledge comes responsibility, with awareness comes a call. It is of course your choice how you respond.”

That’s the whole paragraph.  And at the bottom of the page, the last statement reads:


If you see people who are being trafficked as the “bottom rungs” of society, or if you see them as any less than equal to yourself in any way, then QUIT.  Please, for the sake of all survivors, I beg you to QUIT the abolition movement.  If you cannot approach this issue with an awareness of your own broken condition – of your own desperate need for rescue from your own darkness, then just go find somewhere else to pour your self-righteous pity out – preferably in a place that does not involve other human beings.

Here’s the thing.  If that is how you see things, then you are looking for a way to empower yourself – not people who have been trafficked.  The very definition of someone who has been trafficked is someone who has been USED to fulfill the need for another human being to empower themselves at the victim’s expense.

If you are in any way being empowered or gaining a greater view of yourself through your work with the abolition movement then you are re-victimizing trafficking survivors.

So, I’ll say it again.  If that is you, PLEASE just QUIT.  There is no room for your pride if true healing is going to happen for people.

Humility.  Christ-likeness.  The servant of all.  Just………….go read the BIBLE!





About stonescry

A survivor of sex trafficking, being healed by the grace of God.
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6 Responses to PLEASE – just QUIT.

  1. Heather says:

    I agree. The more I get involved, the more aggravated I become over many of the remarks by abolitionists. Survivors cannot be stereotyped! One of the things that really annoys me is that so many people think that sex trafficking is a problem only overseas… and when I try to explain that it is a problem here, I’m told that I don’t know what I’m talking about and that I need to get involved with the *real* problem. And I’m so sick of people thinking that poverty is the root of the issue, because it really isn’t — at least not for everyone. One time, someone said to me, “I’m sorry that you’re family was so desperate for money.” My family has plenty of money… I just wish people would understand the concept of coercion, rather than blaming victims by claiming that they’re getting involved semi-willingly for monetary reasons. I’m sure that is the case some of the time, but not always. Oh, and here’s another *favourite* remark that I’ve received: “You sound too intelligent and educated for someone who was sex trafficked.” What is that even supposed to mean?! Why are people assuming that I should be stupid and uneducated just because of what happened to me?!


    Guess I needed to “vent” a little, too…

    • stonescry says:

      Heather, feel free to vent anytime! One of the reasons I don’t tell my story to people in the real world very often because I got tired of having my heart stomped on. I’m sorry those things have been said to you. It’s truly shocking how uninformed even “mainstream” abolitionists can be. I say the only way to help that is to keep speaking out against these stereotypes and educating people as much as God gives us grace to do. I have really appreciated those people who have commented here or that I know in real life who are truly walking out lives of abolition in HUMILITY! If there is one thing that needs to be shouted from the rooftops, it is that the crime of human trafficking truly has more “faces” than any other crime. If we are ignorant and only look for it in certain places (like other countries, or among those who live in poverty, etc.) then SO many trafficking victims will always be ignored, marginalized, invalidated and silent. I can’t thank you enough for adding your voice here.

  2. Wow. I never thought of that before. It’s so amazing to see your perspective. Humility in my opinion is one of the most beautiful attitudes I know. Just another reminder of how our words can do more damage than good if we are not careful. And sometimes even when we’re trying to be careful, they still end up tripping us. Reminds me of something I learned from a writing workshop I attended at a conference about how NOT to write about human trafficking. I also learned how damaging words like “sex-worker” , “sex-industry” , and even “johns” can be – leading to a desensitization to the injustice and categorizing it as just another job and the oppressors as just clients. I think as a fellow writer and aspiring abolitionist, it was God’s grace to teach me that before I started writing about it. When I see journalists making those mistakes it angers me too. I want to offer the gifts God has put in me with wisdom. Zeal without wisdom is not good. (Prov. 19:2) I truly appreciate your honest vulnerability here. Please keep showing the abolitionist community HOW to help the world by giving your unique perspective. We need to hear this. I need to read this. I so appreciate you, and I’m so thankful to Jesus that I found your blog. You are an inspiration and a hero to me – far from the bottom rung!

    • stonescry says:

      Thanks, Robyn, for stopping by and reading and for your kind words. I’m glad there are others working towards a climate of honor around survivors. It seems so overwhelming sometimes – all the information being thrown at it. And I know I am just another voice giving yet another perspective. However, staying connected to Christ is truly the only way to stay in this fight. When we go after an issue with our hero cape on (even with our heart in the right place), but approach with anything other that the LOVE He has for each one, then we are bound to hurt those who have already been hurt enough. It’s especially important to me that people NOT re-traumatize trafficking survivors with the same spirit of pride that breeds the rejection and all the other mess we are all too familiar with. Thanks for using your voice and your gift of writing to speak into this issue!

  3. Chey says:

    Dear Stonescry,

    I found your blog recently through your post about the Red X and awareness. I have read through much of your blog already, and I just want to say I really, really appreciate your honesty, humility, ,and vulnerability in writing here. It has been so eye-opening and humbling (in a good way) to me already, as I desire to be one of ‘those who help’ but don’t know how. Thank you for showing me how important humility is, and how vital prayer is. I have been working on praying through much of the scripture you have posted. I know ultimately, God is the only one who can heal, but I want to be usable to him, and I really appreciate your words.

    Anyway, about this post. I am so sorry for the way you have been hurt by people who are supposed to be helping! gahh!! I was just thinking, because I often find myself writing or talking about the subject of trafficking… I would really appreciate a post on how to speak WELL on this topic, without causing further pain for anyone who is listening (or reading). I see you mentioned elsewhere that is is painful for you to hear people who have been trafficked referred to as ‘these girls’. I am painfully ignorant… how can we, who have not experienced what you have and cannot begin to imagine it, speak respectfully, kindly, and honorably about this subject?

    By the way, You are amazing! Thanks for using your voice! 🙂 I am and will be praying for you as you continue to reach out to many through this blog.

    • stonescry says:

      Chey, thanks so much for your kind encouragement and helpful insight. It’s easy for me to say how not to do it because that comes from painful experience. But you are so right – it would be helpful to have ideas on how to do things differently. I will pray and ask The Lord if He wants to give me words for that. If He does, I will post them! 🙂

      To answer your question simply, I will say that it is so easy. Walk in love and imagine that every one you are talking to is a potential survivor of the horror of being trafficked. The way you talked to me here – it was loving, and honoring. Not pity, but respect, honor, love…. If you always season your words with those things, being always mindful that chances are there IS someone listening to your words who does know this pain, then you will be way ahead of the game! I hope that helps just a little!! The ones God has brought by my side to help heal me recognize that I am a real person, not just a survivor. Please keep in mind that we are your sisters, fellow moms, sitting next to you at church, advocating alongside you in this fight while trying to heal our own hearts….We are everywhere. The very next person you talk to, imagine they are a trafficking survivor, trying desperately to heal and make it for just one more day. And see how God moves in your heart to treat them. And then just keep doing that – whether you are grocery shopping, sitting in church, standing in the pre-school pick up line…..You get the idea. If you try this, let me know what happens! 🙂 Bless you!

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