Freedom

It has been 15 days since I have been released from the Department of Corrections Ankle Monitoring program.

EM, for short.

I did a short interview with Daniella Rivera with Channel 11 news the morning I was released. Finally, a news program that didn’t show me as some moral monster. I was able to tell my side of the story and discuss the issues that I have struggled with staying quiet about.

http://www.ktva.com/story/36892700/amber-batts-the-state-created-an-advocate-by-charging-me-with-sex-trafficking

Now, some may be thinking “Wouldn’t it be easier to just shrink into the background?”

That would be safer, rather than putting my face and voice out there. But I wouldn’t have to read comments like this, to brighten my day:

“I’m very very sorry to know that there is a young high school graduate entering adulthood who has a so-called “mother” that advocates and does such filthy, immoral, dangerous, self-deprecating so-called “work” and wants to be respected for it. Would she really encourage her daughter to be one of these prostitutes? I just can’t believe there truly are mothers like this in the world.”

or…

” I am sick of seeing the articles about these criminals with no remorse! Screw them. Just think of all the crime and violence connected to these idiots. The STDs, violence and dugs connected to the prostitution trade takes a huge toll on our communities and the children of these thugs. Have you ever spent time with the child of a pimp. They become way worse than the parent. Stop acting like pimp an ho are decent life choices.”

Said typos are their own.

Yes, it would be easier to just stay quiet. Let others fight this fight, lick my wounds (loss of home, time with kids and friends, independence) and just be grateful. Oh, so grateful, that I am free.

Well, I am doing both. I am grateful but I will not be quiet about what changes I see need to be made.

Freedom of speech. Freedom of thought.

Silence will not change anything. Targeting sex workers on the premise of combating sex trafficking will not end trafficking. Let me write that again.

Targeting sex workers on the premise of combating sex trafficking will not end trafficking.

It is time to examine our moral values and judgments. I would rather speak up for what I believe, the autonomy of life choices, then stay quiet and watch the criminalization of sex workers take place.

Alaska State Law lumps sex workers working together, for safety, for sanity, as sex trafficking. I’ve written much about my thoughts on this. I’ll spare you more at this juncture.

Federal law defines sex trafficking as:

Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years. FOR MORE INFO VISIT LINK HERE.

Sex workers are a marginalized group, further criminalized and targeted. Much of the violence many face comes from those framed as “rescuers”.

I wish I could respond to the myriad of comments on the Channel 11 news link. I am not willing to put my children in the line of fire of those who condemn me for my beliefs. I won’t use my blog as a war zone to respond to those comments, either.

If I could say one thing that could change something, it would be this:

Stand up and speak.

Silence does not change anything.

If you believe in making a change, in anything in your life, then don’t be afraid to speak your truth.

Thanks for reading today! I am now off to get ready for my minimum wage job.

 

 

 

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