“Ruth was 12 years old when her mother’s boyfriend raped her. She ran away and was picked up by a pimp who forced her to have sex for money. Today, she’s a brilliant poet and spoken word artist who dreams of one day becoming an architect and building schools for children in Africa. Here is a poem written by Ruth, detailing her painful past and her powerful ability to overcome adversity.” – Equality Now
You see me; I can’t let this go on any further…
So I’m going to let the finish where it starts.
I’m going to help shed light on the places that are so-called too dark.
Oh yeah; I’ve been through some of it all:
The gang banging, the street walking & having sex in the park.
See, none of this would have happened if I had help from the start.
See, for me, it started in this place that sometimes felt like hell,
But I still had to call it home.
It even included a mother, a sister, even a niece that is only a few years old.
But even when they were home, I still felt all alone.
By alone, see, I was all alone when that light skinned 6 foot tall grown man raped me.
See, no one was in this place I was to call home where I had a bed;
I cried inside because I was fighting a light skinned 6 foot battle all alone,
But I soon went to war when I ran away from this place
With the unbelievable name of home.
At night I was never alone, walking down pimp city road.
I was only 12 years old.
Walking up and down what we call the stroll.
See, to him it did not matter if I was cold or if I was hungry,
All he cared about was me bringing in that money.
Let me let you in on something I find real funny:
That sex trafficking is a nonviolent felony.
But in this life, violence became my “frienamie.”
Now I’m going to shed my light on this place that is so-called too dark,
See, I was hit and beat for things that weren’t my fault
And when I would say something smart,
I was raped and called dumb.
I never thought this day would come.
See I’m not just saying this, this is coming from the heart.
Yes, maybe I want to get a new start.
But I want my voice to help others whose world has fallen apart.
My best friend is a victim even though she is now 17.
She is a victim of our pimp, she is a victim of the streets.
She wants to be free, but she can’t do it all alone, she needs me.
And I need a team to help me finish where it starts.
If only you can feel the pain in our hearts.
To feel 2 inches tall when 5’1” is where you started.
Me and a little girl parted when all this trauma started.
See our lives are getting tough and we really don’t have time to toughen up.
And now look, I’ve reached the finish line, my time is up.
But that doesn’t mean that I give up.