Tag Archives: Sex Trade

So This is What a Real Hero Looks Like

Meet Susana Trimarco. Ten years ago Susana was just an ordinary house wife without a care in the world. Today, Susana is a “Women of Courage” recipient (awarded by the U.S. State Department) and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Why? Because 10 years ago Susana’s daughter left for a doctor’s appointment and never came back. Ultimately, it was determined that Susana’s daughter never came back because she was sold into the sex trade. In the process of searching for her daughter, Susana has liberated hundreds of sex slaves and been a part of putting a number of their abusers behind bars. Although it has been 10 years and Susana has yet to find any trace of her daughter, she is determined not to stop until she finds her. To learn more about Susana’s story, click here.

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UNICEF reports that across the world, there are over one million children entering the sex trade every year and that approximately 30 million children have lost their childhood through sexual exploitation over the past 30 years.

To find out more about UNICEF, click here.

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Shared Hope International exists to rescue and restore women and children in crisis. We are leaders in a worldwide effort to prevent and eradicate sex trafficking and slavery through education and public awareness.

Sexual Slavery. The term preferred by Shared Hope International in reference to human trafficking. Shared Hope expresses their reasoning, “Speak to a victim, and you will not hear that she was “trafficked.” You will hear that she was traumatically raped and brutalized by someone whose sole purpose was to take away her personhood and convert her body into cash. You will hear her tell how men of every age and description act out their violent fantasies on her, and how she becomes both a joke and a criminal in the eyes of her community. Hear her story and it will be clear that she has no one in the world to be her defender.”

Shared Hope International is a fantastic non-profit organization that works with local organizations to fight sexual slavery. Since 1998, they have conquered the world of human trafficking through three action-oriented imperatives: prevent, rescue & restore, and bring justice. Within these three actions, they specifically help the victims of the sex trade, offering safe shelter, therapy, spiritual and physical healing, education and vocational training, and strong dedication to transforming policy and legislation within the law to  provide protection and justice for these victims. While working hand in hand with victims, they also promote community awareness, offering many different training sessions on specific issues or for specific audiences.

This organization is working hard to transform the lives of the sex trade victims, but needs you to help. There are may ways for you to get involved at Shared Hope International:

To find out more about Shared Hope International, click here.

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An Interview With Harmony Dust

Who are you?

I am a girl on a journey with God.

How did you end up in the stripping industry?

Ultimately what led me into the sex industry was a long-term abusive relationship with a guy from my neighborhood who essentially became my pimp. I met him when I was 11.  At the age of 13, my mother left me alone to care for my 8 year old brother. When my mom left, he came around, bought me food, made me feel protected and showed me the male attention I so desperately desired.  Some people would call this “grooming”. He came from a pimp mentality and had it in his mind to “sell” me from the get go. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a victim of trafficking, although there was definitely a lot of coercion that went into me ending up in a strip club. And each night, I came home and gave him all of my money.  By the end of it, he had recruited one of my co-workers to do the same.  I felt completely hopeless and trapped.

How can we help prevent more young girls from being sucked into this industry?

I believe that early intervention for victims of sexual abuse is needed. When a victim is identified, it is important that she (he) has a safe place to talk about these experiences (ie counseling, support groups, a school counselor etc). This will help reduce the shame and isolation they feel. Also, hopefully they will be less likely to connect their sexuality with their self-worth.

What is Treasures?

Treasures is about reaching and restoring women.  Our core message to the women is that they are loved, valued and purposed. This message is so powerful that many women collapse in our arms and weep at hearing it. We believe that true transformation is the result of a heart changed by the love of God.

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The Transformation of an Exotic Dancer

Reading through the first few pages of the book, I was introduced to a whole new way of life. A lifestyle far from what I have ever been used to. Scars and Stilettos, written by Harmony Dust, offers an honest portrayal of a young girl lost in the exotic world of stripping and her transformation to a whole new life.

Harmony opens up her past and provides a heart wrenching book that draws you closer to her emotional struggle. Through a vivid description of her life in the sex industry, you are not only drawn to the unknown lifestyle but captivated by Harmony’s authentic conflicts; her battles with abandonment, exploitation, and sexual and emotional abuse. Harmony exposes the realities and constant battles within the industry, not the glamorous entertainment that Hollywood portrays.

Beginning in the early stages of her life, Harmony introduces us to the fundamentals of how it all started. At the young age of nineteen, she grazed the back rooms of clubs, working her way up and earning more money. She openly shares the toxic relationships that introduced her to this dark world and reveals the life she held while stripping. While most of the book provides deep details of her exotic lifestyle, it also introduces her transformation and how she escaped.

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Almost everyone has heard about/seen the movie Taken, which documents the trafficking and rescue of a young American girl on vacation in Paris. It was eye-opening to many, and it created quite a temporary storm for the anti-human trafficking campaign when it came out in 2008. Has anyone ever heard about the movie Trade? Although based on the same subject matter (sex trafficking), Taken is to picture books as Trade is to chapter books. In other words, Taken presents the more “tame” side of the issue, whereas Taken is harshly in your face, extremely uncomfortably but at the same time incredibly gripping. Set in both Mexico and the US, Trade tells a more somber tale by getting down into the nitty grittiness (it’s rated R for a reason) of what goes on in the sex trade including the emotional, physical, and mental abuse that comes with it. It’s the type of movie you don’t ever want to see but should if you are interested in the anti-human trafficking effort. It will be brutal, heart-wrenching, and extremely painful to watch but when the credits start to roll and blur before your eyes, you will be equipped with a more realistic idea of what’s going on and on what needs to be done to end this horrible injustice.

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