Category Archives: Organizations

For the Survivors

For the Survivors
Natalie Eastman

Natalie Eastman

NATALIE R. WILSON EASTMAN (M.Div. ‘02, D.Min. ’05–Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is a freelance writer and member of the Redbud Writers Guild. She has served as a full-time youth minister to girls and women; worship leader and team developer; missionary to east Asia; and retreat and event teacher/speaker. She lives in Delaware, OH, with her husband and three young children. Links to her blogs may be found at natalieeastman.com.
Natalie Eastman

Latest posts by Natalie Eastman (see all)

Photograph by Almudena Toral

Photograph by Almudena Toral

For the girls and women who didn’t get to choose their life as it currently exists.

“You think you had a choice,” I ask, staggered.
“She looks at me, then looks away. She starts to cry.
‘I don’t know. I guess I didn’t have a choice. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t want it.’”*

Born.
Beaten.
Abused.
Raped.
Confused.
Runaway.
Lost.

Tricked.
Trapped.
Lured.
Beaten.
Abused.
Raped.
Addicted.
Confused.
Unloved.

Used.
Branded.
Marked.
Property.
Painted lady.
Street walker.
Whore.
Disposable.
Used.
Lost.
Hopeless.
Walking death.
What can happen. What does happen, although it seems impossible right now.

Pursuit.
Care.
Conversation.
Recognized.
Realization.
Personhood.
Created.
Imago Dei.
Valued.
Valuable.
Decision.
Determination.
Rescue.
Redemption.
Restoration.
Life.

This post honors Jennifer Kempton, my “neighbor,” but one whom I have never met. She lives 45 minutes from me in Columbus, OH, but for years lived a world away. She was born into an abusive home. Then, like so many other vulnerable girls, she was eventually lured into false love, drug addiction, and then trafficked by someone she thought finally loved her, someone no more than a lowly, self-serving, greedy pimp who repeatedly uses the same M.O. with other vulnerable girls. Sadly, it’s a commonly used method among traffickers, who prey on the needs of abused, confused, emotionally-needy kids.

She is a grace-filled survivor now, helping other girls and women leave and recover from their own experiences inside the horrifying world of human trafficking. Called by God and on a mission, she helps them regain their personhood, even as she still attempts to regain her own. Learn more about her and the girls and women she supports at Survivor’s Ink.

“We women and children shouldn’t have to bear this. We are not possessions or property, we are all children of God . . .   I can’t believe it has finally gone. Now I am free.”
~Ruthie, whose brand/tattoo, placed on her by her pimp, was given new life by Chuck Waldo, a Columbus tattoo artist. Waldo has partnered with Kempton to give these women a new lease on their identities by covering the old brand with gorgeous designs symbolizing new life and hope.

*”Human Trafficking: Modern-Day Slavery in Focus” by Annie Kelly. Posted at The Guardian. Nov 15, 2015.

“For the Survivors” © 2015 Natalie Eastman | The Verity Initiative LLC | www.NatalieEastman.com

The Stories We Tell: Our Truest Rescue

The Stories We Tell: Our Truest Rescue

Latest posts by Tammy Perlmutter (see all)

The Stories We Tell    Tammy Perlmutter (3)

 

In October I applied to attend “The Stories We Tell,” a testimonial writing workshop for survivors of sexual abuse, assault, and trafficking, facilitated by The Voices and Faces Project. I was accepted and went to the workshop with a mixture of fear and excitement. In my heart I knew this would be an ebenezer for me, “a commemoration of divine assistance,” like Samuel’s stone of help, reminding me that “Thus far the Lord has helped [me].”

Deep inside I knew that being brave and taking this step would mean that my life would change. I would need to write more, and take risks by submitting my work in different places. I would feel more confident to share the hard stuff because as a workshop alum, I would take the honor and the accomplishment seriously and become more outspoken about my own abuse and want to be more involved with the cause of protecting and supporting survivors and calling attention to the the dangers of rape culture and its effects on all of us.

To read the rest of the post please click here.

One Billion Rising: February 14, 2013

One Billion Rising: February 14, 2013

Threads of Compassion

Threads of Compassion is a loosely connected group of survivors of sexual violence who desire to offer comfort and support to recent victims. The idea is simple. Anyone whose life has been affected by sexual assault or abuse is welcome to knit or crochet a scarf which in turn will be given to a victim of sexual violence when they enter the hospital for emergency treatment.

Latest posts by Threads of Compassion (see all)

Today, on the planet, a billion women – one of every three women on the planet – will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, and friends violated. V-Day REFUSES to stand by as more than a billion women experience violence.

On February 14th, 2013, V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, we are inviting one billion women and those who love them to walk out, DANCE, RISE UP, AND DEMAND an end to this violence. One Billion Rising is a promise that we will rise up with women and men worldwide to say, “Enough! The violence ends now.”

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN START A RISING – Stage a rising in your community, office, college, or school. Organize a flash mob at a landmark building/site, in the streets or in a nearby mall. Have a dance party, produce a theatrical event, march in your streets, protest, strike, dance and above all RISE!

 

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