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survivor

In the Booth with Ruth – Rachel Lloyd, Founder and CEO of Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS)

January 31, 2013 // 5 Comments

We get a lot of people who want to go ‘rescue’ girls on the street – (a) we’re about empowering girls and young women, not rescuing or ‘saving’ them and (b) places like Big Brother Big Sister are always in need of healthy, consistent adult mentors, and long term, the impact you could have in a little girl or boy’s life will make a true difference in actually preventing children and youth from being vulnerable in the first place...

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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – Anna Malika, Child Trafficking Survivor and Anti-Human Trafficking Activist and Advocate

January 23, 2013 // 5 Comments

Unfortunately, I was trafficked at the age seventeen by a co-worker who was forty years old. I was in that situation while still attending high school, until I was nineteen. During that time, I was forced to do unthinkable things and experienced extreme sexual violation through manipulation and brainwashing while participating in his ‘art project'. I didn’t find out until years later that what I was actually doing was pornography.

In the Booth with Ruth – Barbara Amaya, Child Trafficking Survivor, Author, and Educator of Human Trafficking

January 22, 2013 // 7 Comments

I had the classic ‘aha moment’ or an epiphany last spring as I watched a newscast about trafficked teens in my neighborhood here in Virginia. At that moment, I realized that all those years ago when I’d been in the streets of New York, the man who’d exploited me had actually been trafficking me. He had been a pimp, true, but for years I’d been thinking all that happened to me had been my fault, the abuse I suffered before I ran away from home, the beating he gave me to make me compliant and more. I had truly believed all of those things were my fault and I’d carried it with me for decades...

In the Booth with Ruth – Bridget Perrier, Survivor of Child Trafficking and First Nations Educator & Co-Founder of Sextrade101

January 20, 2013 // 16 Comments

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 the Booth with Ruth – Holly Austin Smith, Survivor of Child Trafficking and Anti-Human Trafficking Advocate, Speaker and Author

January 17, 2013 // 9 Comments

The first survivor I ever connected with was Tina Frundt, founder of Courtney’s House in Washington D.C., an organization which provides services to male and female victims of child sex trafficking. I attended a training session to volunteer at Courtney’s House, and Tina explained to us the tactics used by traffickers to lure children away from home. The tactics were exactly the same as those used on me in 1992. I was blown away. It wasn’t until that moment that I truly realized that I had been a victim, and I knew I had to speak out. I knew I had to share my story in order to educate teens, parents, and teachers.