“Many girls dread going home, of course. They are carrying shame
that belongs with their slave masters and their rapists”.
I’m very caught up at the moment with the idea of Empire as an ancient/modern phenomena which never goes away. And the more I think about it, and in particular the enslavement of peoples, the more my mind goes back to when I was working for C.H.A.S.T.E.
C.H.A.S.T.E. was a charity, (set up by Carrie Pemberton-Ford), to acquaint churches with the reality of slavery today, most especially sex-trafficking. We went to any churches that would have us, telling the stories and explaining the horrors. It was a horrible evening for everyone; much more than some (though not all) churches had bargained for. The unfolding story of how trafficking works and the stories of women and children ( girls and boys) who get tricked, groomed, cajoled, blackmailed or kidnapped into being raped 30 times a day. So very ugly.
It is easiest to groom and then to traffic women and children who have already been neglected or abused, they find it more difficult to discern the beginnings of transgressive behaviour. But anyone who can be kidnapped can be trafficked.
It’s been back on my mind forcibly recently. Being “owned” – so horrible. Many girls and women cannot go home after they escape, (if they ever escape), because they are viewed by their families and villages as contaminated. Many dread going home, of course.They are carrying shame that should belong with their slave masters and their rapists.
The little poem/prayer here was written while I was working at C.H.A.S.T.E.
But it applies to all the slavery which the World, across the world, deals out to the weak.
Prayer for the No-ones
God, no-one’s owned, except by You
who made us, loves us, owns us too.
And no-one is made less than pure
by what the world makes them endure.
And no-one is loved less by You
through what they have been forced to do.
For no-one is no-one to You
whatever life has brought them to.
And when they’re freed to run to You,
they’ll know no-one’s no-one to You.
© Lucy Berry