Note: Love146’s Survivor Care Program Manager, Erin Williamson, has been given a Shining Star Award by Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families’ Human Anti-Trafficking Response Team to honor the exceptional work she is doing with survivors. In a newsletter announcing the award, one of the youth she works with offered her personal thoughts on what Erin has meant to her.
Back in the year 2014 I would have to consider myself a lost soul. I didn’t understand the difference between love and lust, therefore allowing any man to use not only my mind but also my body. As a young teen, I was lured into the life. After a while of selling myself, I lost view of who I once was. Not seeing any other path to take other than the one my pimp was offering me, I was about to give up. But then out of nowhere I was given light. I was given a way out and her name is Erin Williamson.
Since day one, Erin and I connected. She gained my trust quickly, so when she told me I was more than a body, I believed her. She was there throughout everything and now, close to a year later, she still is.
Erin taught me the meaning of self-respect and she helped me understand that I am very much capable of anything I put my mind to. Not once did she judge me, as a matter of fact, she didn’t even allow me to judge myself. I look up to Erin and as honest as I can be, I do not think I would have made it where I am today without the friendship she and I share. I didn’t think I would ever amount to anything but Erin taught me I was wrong.
Today I am proud to say that I have gotten myself off the streets, I have begun working, and I am doing well.
Who would have thought my whole life would change just by being told that I am more than just a body?
Erin Williamson did and I would like to give her special thanks for having faith in me. I would have never found myself if she weren’t part of my life.