Trafficking/Prostitution

Bridget Perrier, Survivor of Child Trafficking and First Nations Educator & Co-Founder of Sextrade101

In Aboriginal Women's Action Network, Bridget Perrier, Ruth Jacobs, Uncategorized, Writers on 2013/01/21 at 4:56 am
bridget-perrier
 It is so great when I see a victim turn into a survivor – it is, to me, like watching my child walk for the first time. I do this for the survivors and to prevent those from having to do the unthinkable. We need to understand that this is not a ‘choice’ and that little girls don’t aspire to service a multitude of different men.

Reblogged from http://ruthjacobs.co.uk/2013/01/20/bridget-perrier-survivor-child-trafficking-first-nations-educator-co-founder-sextrade101-interview/

How did you become involved in the movement against human trafficking?

The reason why I became a part of the movement is because of my past as a child survivor and as a First Nations voice. I saw that for First Nations women there was very little representation in the movement. I also used my experience as a trafficked child.  I was exploited at a very young age and felt that all the adults, professional and family, did a lot of nothing to help me, and in some ways, they made it worse. I was tired of being looked down on and blamed by society.

In Canada, there are so many First Nations girls who get caught up in the cycle of exploitation – we are seeing them enslaved as young as eleven years of age. Also there are an extremely high number of murdered and missing First Nations women; it is estimated in the amount of 3000. It is more likely if you are First Nations to be effected by colonialism.

I was also upset with the recent charter challenge in the legalization for prostitution. I truly believe that human trafficking and prostitution go hand and hand. I believe as a First Nations woman that I need to be a strong voice and role model for my people, especially our girls.

What draws you to support and advocate for people enslaved by traffickers?

I think it is my own experiences that help me to be able to support enslaved women. I also feel that I have a much deeper understanding of the psychological and social aspect of trafficking and exploitation. I am sick of those who feel they can help a survivor but end up being contradicting and causing more damage than good. It is so great when I see a victim turn into a survivor – it is, to me, like watching my child walk for the first time. I do this for the survivors and to prevent those from having to do the unthinkable. We need to understand that this is not a ‘choice’ and that little girls don’t aspire to service a multitude of different men.

What does your work involve?

My work involves education, advocacy and bringing changes to legislation. We, at Sextrade101, are the only activism group run by experiential women in Canada. We are working alongside police and legislators so we can truly and honestly educate and dispel the myths, such as that this is a ‘choice’. We must look at what our communities’ roles are too in dealing with trafficking and traffickers.

Read the rest of this fantastic interview at http://ruthjacobs.co.uk/2013/01/20/bridget-perrier-survivor-child-trafficking-first-nations-educator-co-founder-sextrade101-interview/

Sex Trafficking Survivors Worldwide Unite, Board to Meet in Washington DC

In Johns/Punters/Purchasers, prostitution, sex work, SexTrade101, Stella Marr, Tina Frundt, Uncategorized on 2012/10/17 at 2:27 am

When there are enough empowered survivors speaking out the sex industry will be dismantled

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sex Trafficking Survivors United  is holding their inaugural board meeting in Washington, DC between October 17-21, 2012.  This historic meeting of some of the most experienced and effective survivor leaders in the Western Hemisphere and Europe will launch an unprecedented collaborative effort among sex trafficking/prostitution survivors worldwide.  Flying into the US capital from Canada, the USA, and Ireland to attend are:

Trisha Baptie, EVE, Educating Voices, Vancouver, BC

Vednita Carter, Breaking Free, Minneapolis, MN

Kristy Childs, Veronica’s Voice, Kansas City, MO and KS

Natasha Falle, http://www.sextrade101.com, Toronto, ON

Tina Frundt, Courtney’s House, Washington, DC

Cherie Jimenez, The EVA Center/Kim’s Project, Boston, MA

Stella Marr, Survivors Connect Network, Houston, TX

Bridget Perrier, http://www.sextrade101.com, Toronto, ON

Christine Stark, acclaimed writer and artist, Minneapolis, MN

For various reasons, most survivors have been working in relative isolation within the anti-trafficking movement.  We believe the time is right for us to join forces as survivor-activists to lend our expertise, our voices, our trauma-focused and empowerment aftercare programs, our stories of transformation, and our passion for social change to the larger work of creating a world free of sex trafficking, which is another word for prostitution.  Making distinctions between sex trafficking and prostitution is harmful and misleading.  It marginalize those that are trapped and suffering.

Our organization will raise funds for survivor-led programs helping women exit prostitution and recover from the extensive trauma.  We will continue educating the public on the reality of sex trafficking/prostitution from those who not only have survived it but are on the front lines with those that are still trapped and still not being recognized as victims.  Additionally, we will urge anti-trafficking organizations to empower survivors by opening doors and funding opportunities, recognizing the expertise that we bring to this movement, and hiring survivor leaders.  Our work will connect survivors, strengthen our voices and put us at the heart of the anti-trafficking movement where we belong.

We’ll also advocate for funds for services to help the victims of trafficking/prostitution and continue to grow our survivors network, while developing a speakers and writers group to help get more survivor voices into the public consciousness.  This combination of raising funds, networking survivors and expanding the voices of survivors will lead to more survivor empowerment, and ultimately more resources to help girls and women exit and recover.

About the International Association of Sex Trafficking/Prostitution Survivors Survivors United

Sex Trafficking Survivors United is a fledgling soon-to-be nonprofit organization dedicated to uniting the energy, efforts and voices of sex trafficking/prostitution survivors everywhere while making their work sustainable so we can end sex trafficking/prostitution in our lifetime.  We believe when empowered survivors that have had extensive time in “the Life” understand their experiences and are speaking the truth, along with those that support survivors, the sex trade will truly begin to be dismantled.

Already with 60 members, 25 of whom are running their own effective nonprofit organizations, our coalition provides more services to victims while educating the public  than any single anti-sex trafficking NGO in the USA and Canada.  Additionally, we operate a private network that provides community and support for survivors.  All members of our organization are abolitionists who agree that to end trafficking/prostitution we must address demand and focus on providing more choices and empowering recovery services for the victims.

Sex Trafficking Survivors United has grown out of Survivors Connect Network.  We hope to take our activism to the next level of empowerment by seeking funding for survivor-led programs that meet our best practices criteria as a coalition and creating a speakers group where we advocate that survivors are paid for speaking engagements so their activism is sustainable.  The network will remain  as important as ever.

EMAIL:  sextraffickingsurvivorsunited@gmail.com

CONTACT:  Stella Marr, 832 368-3899, texts welcome

After 17 years being trafficked in prostitution she went blind while pregnant: Extraordinary survivor writer Christine McDonald

In Choice, Christine McDonald on 2013/04/26 at 11:57 pm

sex trafficking, prostitution, sex trafficking survivors united, Rachel Lloyd, Christine McDonald, prostitution, addiction, inspiration

Christine McDonald was trafficked in prostitution for 17 years.  Then she went blind while she was pregnant.  She has written a bold, brave book about her heartbreaking experiences, which include giving birth in shackles.  She was suffering from an undiagnosed disability which played a role in vulnerability to being trafficked.  She has written an amazing page turner of a book:  Cry Purple.

She will inspire you!  Her writing is an extraordinary testament to the nightmare of prostitution and the beauty and resilience of her spirit.
Here is an excerpt:

While I was walking along, keeping a lookout for a spigot, I saw some beautiful flowers in a yard behind a fence. Knowing that the owners must have had a water hose around somewhere—and drawn by the flowers—I climbed over the fence. I walked over and began picking some of the flowers of each color: a red one, a blue one, a yellow one, and a few purple ones. The purple seemed so calm, so peaceful and rich.

As I was picking them, a man came out from the house with a phone in his hands. He yelled with an accent.

“Get away!” he said. “I’m calling the police! Get away from my house!”

“I’m sorry,” I said, and headed for the gate, with the man still yelling at me about my trespassing in his yard and picking his flowers. I still had them in my hand, and I dropped them by the fence as I exited the yard. I turned as he yelled once again that he was calling the police.

“I’m homeless,” I said.

Then it hit me that I was barefoot, that I was standing in the cool of the grass, and that his flowers were beautiful.

“I don’t see much beautiful stuff,” I said, and then I started walking again. —  Excerpt from the book Cry Purple.

Read more about Christine at her great webpage www.crypurple.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 207 other followers