Monday, February 15, 2016

Fighting Sexual Exploitation: In Solidarity with My Life My Choice!

This is the opening of a statement by Audrey Morrissey, the Associate Director of My Life My Choice, who is a trafficking survivor.
My Experience in the Sex Trade Had Nothing to Do with Choice
audrey-1
I was first sold for sex when I was 16. My boyfriend told me that if I loved him and our daughter, I’d work the corner so we could have a better life. He made me think there were no other options. He convinced me I wasn’t doing it for him, but for us. 
I know there are some women who say they do this willingly—they call themselves “sex workers.” Maybe that’s their truth, but that’s not mine. 
Nor is it the truth for the hundreds of girls I’ve counseled over the past 12 years at My Life My Choice.
For the rest of her statement, please go here to demandabolition.org.

I stand in solidarity with My Life My Choice. Here is the summary of their work:
Harnessing the strength of the collective voices of survivors, My Life My Choice empowers vulnerable youth to be agents of change in their own lives and in the movement to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Here is their mission statement:
The mission of My Life My Choice is to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of adolescents through survivor-led programs that educate and empower youth to find their voice and create a positive life path while working to eliminate the violence and victimization of sexual exploitation. 
We have a laser focus on strengthening the power, and amplifying the voices, of those who are most vulnerable and of those who have survived exploitation.
We are building a network of allies to stand up to the force of the illegal sex industry and create long-lasting social change.
Here is their history:
In 2001, a young Boston woman was brutally murdered. She was 17 years old and living in a Child Protective Services (CPS) funded group home. Unbeknownst to any of the caring adults in her life, she was being commercially sexually exploited. At the time of her death, leaders across Boston came together to say "was this an isolated incident or the tip of the iceberg?” We quickly learned that it was the tip of the iceberg. Out of Latasha's death, My Life My Choice was born. 
Today, My Life My Choice offers a unique continuum of survivor-led services spanning provider training, prevention groups for vulnerable adolescent girls, survivor mentoring to young victims of commercial sexual exploitation, and advocacy and leadership development. Our programs are grounded in the strength and resiliency of survivor leaders. 

To all the employees, volunteers, and activists affiliated with My Life My Choice, thank you for all you do for girls and women!  -- Julian


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