Valentine's Day—what do you love about yourself?

At REST, everything we do is because we wholeheartedly believe that every single person is worthy of love—you, me, and every victim and survivor of sexual exploitation. We are all worthy of love.

The women and men we meet at REST have often been treated horrifically—by family, friends, abusers, and sex buyers. With that often comes a deep feeling of being unworthy of love—and that easily translates into a lack of love for oneself.

As we work with clients, we focus on their strengths—we invite them to see how those strengths have contributed to their survival in the often brutal world of the sex trade—and how those strengths will continue to protect and help them as they find their path to freedom, safety, hope, and a life outside of the sex trade.

This year for Valentine’s Day, we invited the survivors who visited our Drop-In Center over the last week to answer this question: What do you love about yourself?

Here’s what they had to say:

“My smile and optimism, no matter how bad things get.”

“Free-spirited… my personality…. haven’t lost HOPE.”

“My bounce-back game.”

“I am joy.”

“I am honest to myself.”

“I got the JUICE.”

“[This is] going to be temporary!”

“What I love about addiction is that you’re able to receive a second chance which means you can do it again—clean and sober. Forgive yourself.”

“I am honest!”

“My love for positive vibes.”

“I love that I am such a caring person for others.”

“My pettiness. Lol.”

“My silliness.”

We love the realness, lightheartedness, and enduring strength revealed in the answers from the survivors who participated. As you celebrate Valentine’s Day today, we invite you to answer the same question: What do you love about yourself?