When approached with the opportunity to participate in planning this year’s walk, I simply could not stand idly by. I personally know many who have been impacted by the dark world of human trafficking, either directly or indirectly—in fact, I have been directly exposed to this world myself. A world that may seem distant to many, but it is in fact occurring in our own community.

Earlier this year, I entered Safe Harbor’s program. A program designed to help people like myself who have been trafficked. I entered this program dazed and confused, wondering how my life had gotten to this place. I grew up in a great neighborhood with all of the familial support I could have asked for, and yet I still found myself here. I was wary of the fact that the program could do anything to help me, because I truly believed that I was beyond reparable and incapable of assimilating into a society that didn’t seem to welcome damaged individuals like myself.

After being in Safe Harbor’s program, my entire perspective has shifted. I believe in myself, and just as importantly- I believe that anybody has the ability to bounce back from even the darkest of times and situations. I have made remarkable strides that I never thought would be possible. Thanks to this program and the individuals who work tirelessly day in and day out, I am on track to lead an amazing life- one untainted by the shadows of my past. I walked into this program as a shell of myself, but I have evolved into a woman I can be proud of.

So when asked why I wanted to help plan and be a part of this walk, the answer is simply: How could I not? If I can help raise awareness on this particular issue in any way, I will do it every time. Because we are not damaged, we are strong and resilient women- and we deserve better.

I ask you to be a part of this year’s Walk to End It.  Register to walk, sponsor a team, give a donation.  For more information or to register, visit www.walktoendit.myevent.com.