When a person thinks of Sex Trafficking and Exploitation, many words, ideas, and questions may arise. Most of these questions start with the words why and how. Many survivors could probably start their stories with these words, “I was poor, and I needed…”

Poor. It seems like such a dirty word. Some say being poor is only a state of mind. What do you call it when a person cannot meet a need, such as food, rent, or clothes? According to Webster’s Dictionary, poor is defined as having little money, not very good, and being unfortunate.

So, how does the idea of being poor make you feel? Are you mad about it? Do you think less of yourself because of it? Many survivors struggle with these thoughts. It may antagonize self-esteem, self-worth, and self-values. Survivors may place limits on the self-value they have based on the amount of money they have; if that amount is zero, and factor in other negative thoughts which surface during our thought process, we can easily see how money is a motivator for someone in extreme circumstances which they felt there were no other options.

Let’s commit today, we don’t have to let ideas of having little money, not very good, or unfortunate lead us to feel worthless about ourselves. The truth is we are equipped to control our thoughts. If we think, “I don’t have any money, so I can’t do ####, and I must not be ####, then our next thought could be, “Before I got into this situation, I held down a job for over a year,” or “Something else has to be out there for me, I am still here, I have survived!” If we give our conscience a deep look, we can determine, based on the fact we woke up, still have thoughts, and face another day, you may recognize the amount of money you have has nothing to do with your value as a human being. You have heard this before, now is the time to believe and know it; Stay true to yourself, believe in yourself, and know money doesn’t make you. 

Written and Edited by: Priscilla Thornton