#ListenToAllSurvivors 4: Some Conversations Are Best Left as “In Group” Conversations

by admin  - October 2, 2021

Talia, Nolan, Sam, and Alisha are standing outside having a conversation. Talia says: “I'm so glad I'm not being trafficked any more, but I'm worried! These new credit card changes mean I might lose access to my online work, which is what has kept me from having to do street-based work and running into my trafficker again!”
For more information about how the upcoming MasterCard changes will impact survivors who are now sex workers, see #AcceptanceMatters.org
Nolan hears Talia, but seems concerned. He says: “I definitely hear you. I work a lot with LGBTQ youth whose traffickers wanted them to post ads online. I don't want you to not be safe, but I'm worried about how to keep youth safe too. What's the solution?”
Sam thinks for a moment. Then adds: “I know there's been a lot of advocacy to try to figure out better supports for homeless and runaway LGBTQ youth. I wonder if we could partner with some of those groups to discuss ideas?”
Alisha looks worried. She says,”I mean, honestly, every site I've ever posted content on has had an age verification anyway. I lost my license once and had to jump through a billion hoops just to get my account reinstated after getting doxxed and trolled online.”
A white-haired, heavy-mustached professor in a brown suit leans into their conversation. “Well actually…” All the survivors are startled by his intrusion into their conversation.
He starts to say “I think what survivors need is th-” but is cut of by Talia and Alisha. “No” says Talia. “Tch!” adds Alisha, shushing him.
Still unaware that crashing the conversation was rude and changed the dynamic, Professor counters, “But…”
Alisha walks over, points, and says “Go.”
Professor leaves, disappointed that he didn’t get to share his research conclusions. The survivors are proud of each other and themselves for holding strong boundaries. The caption reads: “Some conversations are "in-group conversations." Survivors have been spoken for and over by self-proclaimed "experts" and "advocates" for so long that being able to discuss options without being interrupted or talked over is essential to reframing the movement to be truly survivor-led.”
The survivors are still proud of each other for pushing back against being talked over. The caption reads: “If you don't have lived experience and are lucky enough to be in a group of survivors sharing openly, listen first. Ask yourself: "Do I belong in this conversation? Do I have something valuable to share? Does this conversation need my contribution?" And then ask. "I have some thoughts based on my research. Are you interested in hearing them?"”
New Publication: It has to be their choice. We need to give them options.

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