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sex trafficking

In the Booth with Ruth – Stella Marr, Sex Trafficking Survivor, Anti-Sex Trafficking Activist and Advocate, Executive Director and Founding Member of Sex Trafficking Survivors United (Survivors Connect)

January 29, 2013 // 15 Comments

I was trafficked in prostitution in New York City for nearly ten years, from the early 1980s to the early 1990s. Two of my friends from the life were murdered. My beautiful friend, April, died of suicide because the madam she'd called promised to send help then did nothing. April died waiting - to me it feels like another murder. My best friend Gabriel, who'd been trafficked from age sixteen, died of AIDS at age twenty-four. His family kicked him out when they found out he was sick, so he had to spend his last days living with a john who made him buy life insurance with the john as beneficiary. I fill with tears when I think of it...

In the Booth with Ruth – Jody Williams, Founder of Sex Workers Anonymous (formerly Prostitutes Anonymous) and Trafficking and Prostitution Services

January 29, 2013 // 8 Comments

I was in the middle of this in Los Angeles during the 1980s, which was during the whole Iran-Contra fiasco. This meant I saw government, CIA, police, and other politically connected people pumping guns and drugs into Los Angeles using the gangs as a front for what they were doing. I was on the trucks full of crates of cocaine off the boat from Columbia when I saw the coast guard wave them on through, because everything had been already arranged within our own government to happen. I watched how the prostitutes were used as mules to carry the drugs or to have sex with potential purchasers of the guns to make sure they were not cops...

In the Booth with Ruth – Mary David, Anti-Human Trafficking Activist, Motivational Speaker, Model, Former UN Advisor, Miss Wyoming United States

January 28, 2013 // 4 Comments

The cruelty and gruesomeness of taking away someone’s freedom, dignity, and innocence makes me more angry than I can put into words. I have always been drawn to underserved groups and advocating for exploited people. When I meet survivors and hear what they have gone through but then also see how strong they are despite what they have endured, I can’t help but act. Their traumas are so expansive and ongoing that they propel me forward. Victims of these crimes are like any person you meet at work or a party or school. Fortunately for me, I was never targeted by traffickers, but when I meet victims I can’t help but think “that could have been me.” A realization like that comes with a heavy burden and obligation. I was lucky, so I feel called to help those who are not.

In the Booth with Ruth – Delores Day, Child Trafficking Survivor and Anti-Human Trafficking Advocate

January 26, 2013 // 7 Comments

I have to admit, I was just as naive as others and thought trafficking was only in third world countries. Learning more about it, I learned that I too was trafficked. First, on my sixteenth birthday, my father sold me to his best friend. I was so scared. You see, I was quite promiscuous in my teens already, stemming from the sexual abuse I endured during my childhood and not knowing what real love is. Then, as I learned more, I realized I was also trafficked when I was seeking extra income because of a college loan that my ex took out while we were married and I co-signed for it. Little did I know that trying to find a job dancing would lead me into trafficking...

In the Booth with Ruth – Nicole Rowe, Feminist, Anti Sex-Trade Activist and Co-Founder of Nordic Model Advocates (NorMAs)

January 25, 2013 // 26 Comments

As a feminist activist, you have to be wilfully blind to ignore the sex trade. I was planning a one-off activist stunt around sex trafficking at a UK activist training event, and was fortunate that those I met were passionate and dedicated enough to want to form an organisation with me to tackle the foundation that holds trafficking up – prostitution. If we lived in a world where women’s bodies were not for sale, then sex traffickers would not be able to operate. So, the best place to start alleviating the problem of trafficking is with prostitution.

In the Booth with Ruth – Michelle Carmela, Child Trafficking Survivor, Anti-Human Trafficking Activist and Advocate, Founder and CEO of Once Upon An Eden

January 25, 2013 // 11 Comments

I am a survivor of incest, child rape, child labor and child prostitution, as well as extreme child abuse. I was also born and raised in a Mafia family. I grew up in the United States. America, like every other country, is a great country, and like every other country, also has citizens that suffer greatly at the whims of others, thus having their rights violated. After a forty-one year history with human exploitation and sharing my story with the public for the past twenty-six years, I am thankful people are listening and...

In the Booth with Ruth – Winnie Small, Radical Feminist/Abolitionist and Ally to Victims of Sex Trafficking & Sexual Exploitation

January 24, 2013 // 4 Comments

I must admit my opposition to pornstitution was largely academic at first, not felt in my gut to be wrong until I read anti-pornography/anti-prostitution feminist books, especially radical feminist books, like Gloria Steinem’s Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics, Joan Smith’s Misogynies - I read all these at twelve years old. Another book I read at the same age, Patrick Roscoe’s Birthmarks, is a collection of semi-autobiographical stories about prostitution, child sexual abuse, homelessness, trauma re-enactment, and so on - that is what really hit me in the gut/tear ducts. Before that, I was...

In the Booth with Ruth – Nikolaos Al-Khadra, Child Trafficking Survivor and Anti-Human Trafficking Activist

January 24, 2013 // 8 Comments

While I was doing a research project for one of my classes, I noticed so many loopholes in state policies when it came to prosecuting those involved in youth prostitution. The victims, being the kids, were prosecuted and the adults, johns and pimps, were just fined. Then I saw something in my own past being a possible key as to why these laws existed in the way they did. Since my past involved corrupt politicians being some of my johns, it sparked me to contact a reporter and share my story.

In the Booth with Ruth – Natasha Sandy, Ally to Victims of Sex Trafficking & Sexual Exploitation

January 23, 2013 // 49 Comments

Survivor voices deeply touch my heart and my sense of humanity. There’s no way I can sit idly by knowing the horrors endured inside the sex trade and the deep bio-psycho-social-spiritual wounds it creates. I like, respect, and want to be part of a movement that cares about the well-being of a population that society dismisses and deems disposable, because nobody is disposable. The massive ignorance around, and ignoring of, the prostituted is something I want to help change.