Trafficking Survivor Writer & Artist Christine Stark

25 Apr

human trafficking, prostitution, christine stark, dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, sexual abuse, native american, ojibwe, minnesota

My sister trafficking/prostitution survivor Christine Stark is an extraordinary writer, poet and visual artist. Her new novel, Nickels A Tale of Dissociation, has been named a finalist for the Annual Lambda Literary Awards, 2011.

In a recent interview with the Bozeman Times Chris discusses what it means to be a survivor:

This is a book most immediately for and about abuse survivors, but it should not be limited to that audience in the same way that, say, James Baldwin should not be limited to gay, African American readers. Everyone can relate to the protagonist because although some of her experiences are specific, there are universal themes in the book, including love and joy and play. A lot of writing and activist work around sexual exploitation wants to focus on just the miserable, abusive aspects of the victims/survivors’ lives, but I feel that does a great disservice. It removes agency from those being hurt, and it can stereotype survivors, reducing them to one-dimensional victims such that “victim” becomes everything about them, thus stripping them of their full humanity.

Nickels is an honest portrayal of someone who must fight like hell just to live; but also, at the same time, takes risk to love and be responsible for a mess that was not her own doing but that she cannot escape. That is one of the most unjust things about abuse: the abused must live with, to one degree or another, the ramifications of the abuser’s actions. She cannot be absolved of responsibility, by spending X number of months in a prison, or visiting a religious leader, or doing penance in some other way. The aftereffects are always present, always causing tremendous pain and confusion and distancing, and often poverty, homelessness, depression, and more abuse. There is always hope, and many do get away and heal, but thanks to Post Traumatic Stress, the past becomes present, often at the most misopportune times. Characters and people do heal, so that the trauma lessens and becomes manageable, but it does not happen overnight. Healing occurs over years, and many of those years are very difficult and painful and confusing.

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20 Responses to “Trafficking Survivor Writer & Artist Christine Stark”

  1. Jueseppi B. April 25, 2012 at 2:44 am #

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    This is a very vital cause, please read Christine Stark’s new work of facts. Thank you “My Body The City: The Secret Life Of A CallGirl”.

  2. paulaacton April 25, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    i love the way you and in this case refer to yourselves as survivors more than victims, I am still catching up on reading your posts but it really does seem that the difference in that one word is a liberating one an abuser may victimise someone but it seems that they take back the power as you yourself have when they choose to be a survivor rather than remain a victim. I do not say for one second that making that choice is easy but hopefully if more people like you find the strength and courage to speak out then others will be inspired.

    • meredith April 25, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

      I think if people understood how intrusive prostitution is, how dark the world around prostitution is, and how traumatic it is to live with every single day… maybe they’d understand why we recognize ourselves as survivors.

      Prostitution is never one person paying one other person for sex. It’s a whole second city of people who like to prey on other people… using people as bait.

      Prostitution is a much deeper, sociopathic issue than people realize. It is a dysfunction of our society, not a line up of runaways.

  3. geese April 25, 2012 at 3:12 am #

    I really needed this post today, thank you.

  4. Sophia April 25, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    As always thanks for sharing this perspective and this piece of work. It’s forever important for your voice to shared as much as possible as well as other survivors of trafficking. I hope to read this book and recommend it to others.

  5. Sophia April 25, 2012 at 3:42 am #

    Thanks as always for sharing this perspective and this piece of work. It’s forever important to share your voice and spread your experiences as much as possible. I hope to read this novel and recommend it to others.

  6. Susan April 25, 2012 at 4:25 am #

    Its so great to see something so positive come out of something so negative.

  7. nelle April 25, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    As one who deals with PTSD, I hear you.

  8. occasionalartist April 25, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    What an amazing story and such a vision of hope. Thanks for your inspiration.

  9. Joy April 25, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    It is so true that healing does not happen overnight. It takes years and those years are painful. I was telling a friend recently that sometimes we have to give time…time. Maybe times does heal wounds, but give time time. Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to reading her book.

  10. buckwheatsrisk April 25, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    so true it takes years of healing and walking through the pain to get to a better place. i also live with ptsd and i’m an abuse survivor.

  11. Kristel April 25, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Healing really does take time. But your outlook in life is beautiful and your strength is inspiring. Thank you for sharing this piece. I’m really looking forward to reading Stark’s book.

  12. kissingthecockroach April 26, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    I hate knowing others can relate and I love knowing others can relate and I am so relieved that others can relate…………THANK YOU

  13. Rescuing Little L April 27, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    I continue to be amazed at you and your sister survivors….Will definitely buy Christine’s book and am pleased as punch that you all are making your mark in the world….

  14. Bodhi du Jour April 27, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    I am always inspired by your posts, and while I have not gone through the same experience as you, I have had my own battle with darkness in the form of a deadly illness. Every tiny drop of courage and inspiration to stay strong and positive is very precious. So, thank you for sharing this interview and Christine’s story, Stella!

    XX

    • stellamarr June 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      I am so sorry you have been through that struggle, with a deadly illness. SO much love, xo

  15. rebeccaoftomorrow April 30, 2012 at 4:43 am #

    I too am amazed. And keep up the good work helping others!

  16. Theo Black May 1, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    This is so important. Someone close to me has been through this, and has actually rebuilt herself into a happy, healthy woman. It took decades, though.

  17. Inside the Mind of Isadora May 1, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    This is a facinating world. One too few know about. You are to be commended for showing those who do not know something about this it; whether through your postings or your litreary recommendations. Bravo to you …

  18. missrana May 2, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    This is an inspiring post! I am so glad I discovered your blog.

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