Survivors say it best: “The public needs to understand that prostitution is sex trafficking. The term ‘sex trafficking’ reflects an awakening to the truth about the realities of prostitution – that it is sexually violent, coercive, degrading, and involves fraud, deception and the abuse of power. In other words, the circumstances of prostitution are those of sex trafficking. The only reason the public doesn’t always recognize this is that there’s a strange assumption that if someone is in prostitution – it’s OK to commit these crimes against her. It’s the ultimate victim blaming.”
How did you become involved in the movement against sex trafficking and sexual exploitation?
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.
The public needs to understand that prostitution is sex trafficking. The term ‘sex trafficking’ reflects an…
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