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After 17 years being trafficked in prostitution she went blind while pregnant: Extraordinary survivor writer Christine McDonald

26 Apr

Christine McDonald, sex trafficking survivors united, cry purple, human trafficking, prostitution, blindness, disability, motherhood

Christine McDonald was trafficked in prostitution for 17 years.  Then she went blind while she was pregnant.  She has written a bold, brave book about her heartbreaking experiences, which include giving birth in shackles.  She suffered from an undiagnosed disability which played a role in her vulnerability to being trafficked.  You will love her amazing page turner of a book:  Cry Purple.

She will inspire you!  Her writing is a testament to the nightmare of prostitution and the beauty and resilience of her spirit.
Here is an excerpt:

While I was walking along, keeping a lookout for a spigot, I saw some beautiful flowers in a yard behind a fence. Knowing that the owners must have had a water hose around somewhere—and drawn by the flowers—I climbed over the fence. I walked over and began picking some of the flowers of each color: a red one, a blue one, a yellow one, and a few purple ones. The purple seemed so calm, so peaceful and rich.

As I was picking them, a man came out from the house with a phone in his hands. He yelled with an accent.

“Get away!” he said. “I’m calling the police! Get away from my house!”

“I’m sorry,” I said, and headed for the gate, with the man still yelling at me about my trespassing in his yard and picking his flowers. I still had them in my hand, and I dropped them by the fence as I exited the yard. I turned as he yelled once again that he was calling the police.

“I’m homeless,” I said.

Then it hit me that I was barefoot, that I was standing in the cool of the grass, and that his flowers were beautiful.

“I don’t see much beautiful stuff,” I said, and then I started walking again. —  Excerpt from the book Cry Purple.

Read more about Christine at her great webpage www.crypurple.com

Related articles

Glimpsing Eve

8 Apr sex trafficking survivors united, imago dei fund, half the sky, gender, religious gender hierarchy, inclusive language, patriarchy, feminism, empowerment, healing, emily nielsen jones

sex trafficking survivors united, imago dei fund, half the sky, gender, religious gender hierarchy, inclusive language, patriarchy, feminism, empowerment, healing, emily nielsen jones

“Regardless of what religious tradition it is, whether Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish or Christian, the language of religious-based gender hierarchy sounds pretty much the same:  women be “quiet” and “submissive” and accept limited roles within the family, the church, and in society.  When Christians export this mode of thinking around the world, it becomes one more rationale for keeping women in a subordinate role in society, doing most of the work but not ever “owning” their own work and finding their own path in life.”

– Emily Nielsen Jones

The followig moving and powerful post is by brilliant Emily Nielsen-Jones, founder of the Imago Dei Fund.  She discusses the beauty and spiritual resilience of women in the face of violence and inequality.  Many sex trafficking survivors have felt judgment and exclusion by religious institutions, even though many of us seek (and often find) nourishment there, so I was very grateful to read this brave discussion.  It will inspire you!  Here’s an excerpt — you can read the entire beautiful post at Emily and her sister Julie’s blog The Women’s Liberty Bell:

As my global gender awareness continues to expand and grow, what I see in the mirror of our world is a wounded but beautiful face looking back at me.  Her name is Eve.
Who is Eve?  Not the literal, historical character some of us learned about in Sunday school, but rather who She represents in a universal, archetypal human sense: the “Mother of the Living”, the feminine face of God in our world, the collective embodiment of womankind as image-bearers of God.  Who is Eve?  I am Eve.  My daughter is Eve.  My sisters, my mother, aunts, girlfriends, female colleagues, sisters around the world, each a unique face of Eve in the world, each way more interesting than the “role” churches still teach us we should be and the body images sold to us by the media.
Eve… a female-shaped diamond with many facets… She that cannot be defined by anyone or anything externally… She knows her beauty & strength and offers it graciously to the world, even when it is undervalued & diminished…
….
Eve diminished: “submissive”, victimized, “lesser than”, in her place at the margins of church and organizations, Eve hidden by a veil of shame and inferiority, Eve as scape goat and whipping girl at the hands of male pride and presumption.  I see this wounded face of Eve in the subtle wounds of women raised in the church, which continues to lag behind the rest of society in working toward gender equity, and in the more egregious wounds of girls and women around the world who are victims of gender-based violence. Women have come along way but still suffer a scale of the physical, sexual and psychological violence worldwide that is mind-numbing, a pandemic humanitarian crisis that crosses every social and economic class, every religion, race and ethnicity.
….
Eve rising up:  strong, empowered, self-actualized, very human and very female, in her full power and glory—God-like—a feminine face of God in our world, a passionate lover, a fierce protector, a compassionate pillar holding up more than “half the sky”, inspiring leader, creator, a healing presence in our world.  Eve no longer accepting an inferior place in society, defined by men, Eve rising up to take her full place in creating a better world where all human beings can live and flourish side-by-side. In many ways, as Eve rises up, all of humanity is elevated to a more civil, higher way of being, one in which power is not power over another, but power with, power to give and receive and offer one’s gifts to the world. Some of the most interesting, capable social activists that I have met this past year are women, women who are working in their sweet spot, living out their calling in the world, empowered by their imago dei to give power and dignity to others and to work toward the betterment of humanity, woman who mirror to me the feminine heart of God, the face of Eve, the Mother of the Living.
Read more of this beautiful post here at The Women’s Liberty Bell.

Brilliant 16 year old survivor tells us what helped her overcome sex trafficking

22 Mar

Tina Frundt, founder of Courtney's House, which helps trafficked youth, trafficking, prostitution, child sex trafficking, exploitation, love, warmth, sex trafficking survivors united

I just read a powerful piece by a 16-year old sex-trafficking survivor named Linda  She’s writing about what helped her overcome sex trafficking:  Courtney’s House and it’s founder, my dear friend and sister survivor Tina Frundt.  Linda is brilliant — look at how wonderfully she writes!  She’s going places.  This makes me so happy I just had to share it with you.   This young lady has endured more terrible things than most people experience in a life time, and she’s transformed it into strength and grace.  She’s trying to get people to vote for Tina for the Diane Von Furstenberg awards, so Courtney’s house can win $50,000 to help more survivors.  Please join me in reading Linda’s beautiful words and celebrating her big voice.  Please vote for Tina Frundt, one of the most trusted and beloved survivor advocates in the world.

BY: LINDA AGE 16YRS

Not everybody knows what some teens go through nowadays. Sex trafficking happens because of various reasons. We as teens want the warmth of a loving family and protective parents. If we don’t get what we were born to deserve we look for love and affection from others, but some people take that for granted because as a young child we are easily manipulated.

Thanks to women like Tina Frundt there is so much support given to young girls & boys that have experienced sex trafficking. Tina Frundt has a program that is named Courtney’s House. This is a great support system because whatever you need they are there! And if you need to talk, someone is always available. Tina has dedicated her life to this cause to help sex trafficking survivors out in the streets. Having the help of somebody who lived the same thing you went through is important to help guide you, because there is so much to understand. Understanding each other brings a big bond between Tina and the rest of the girls & boys.

I am very happy that I came to Courtney’s House and realized that there was nothing to be afraid of. I was afraid to live my own life, and I was very anti-social in a way because I was so used to keeping my guard up all the time. Being trafficked impacted me so greatly that all I cared about was money and getting the day over with. Things seemed endless to me every day of my life. I didn’t want to give myself up, and I was afraid to get arrested or killed. I became part of Courtney’s House after everything not just because the program was there; I also felt lonely and thought that nobody ever experienced what I had been through. But thanks to supportive people helping me find Courtney’s House, I was able to become part of the family.

Ever since then, my life changed drastically and it feels so good to talk freely about things that went wrong.  Even from this day it still hurts within me, but I thank God he put TINA in my life because she is a wonderful woman that I look up to. She will ALWAYS inspire me; things in life aren’t impossible when you have people supporting you always!! These are words purely from the bottom of my heart!!

SO PLEASE VOTE FOR TINA, BECAUSE THAT MEANS YOU ARE HELPING SURVIVORS LIKE ME!! HTTP://DVFAWARDS.COM/

 Read this wonderful post here.

29 Jan

Originally posted on Ruth Jacobs:

Stella Marr

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…

View original 1,432 more words

20 Jan

stellamarr:

One of my superheroes — the great Bridget Perrier of http://www.sextrade101.com She and http://www.sextrade101.com co-founder Natasha Falle are extraordinary women

Originally posted on Ruth Jacobs:

Bridget Perrier

How did you become involved in the movement against human trafficking?

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 Canada, there are so many First Nations girls who get caught up in the cycle of exploitation – we are seeing them enslaved as young as eleven years of age. Also there are an extremely high number of murdered and missing First Nations women…

View original 533 more words

It is always here for you

15 May
miss rosen, uplift, enchant, blog, rumi, love

It is always here for you

Love is
a mirror
you see nothing
but your reflection
you see nothing
but your real face.
—Rumi

The above is from http://missrosen.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/it-is-always-here-for-you/

Miss Rosen’s extraordinary blog never fails to uplift, inspire and enchant.  Just had to share Miss Rosen’s beauty with you.  Our ability to perceive  beauty helps us survive.  So much love to you, XO

To look into another’s eyes and see yourself

17 Feb

“In the absolute meaning there are no whores. There are people in prostitution for a longer or shorter period of time. There are no ‘types’ of people, no characters. They are people who have ended up in a certain situation. … One puts themselves in another’s place and imagines themselves under different circumstances. It is to look into someone else’s eyes and see yourself. And with this insight comes also an insight into the cruelty of the system which has made her into a ‘type’.”

Kajsa Ekis Ekman

Choosing Love

16 Feb

The moment we choose to love, we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love, we begin to move toward freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others.

–bell hooks

Trapped Indoors: Survivor Interview in the Irish Examiner

15 Feb

prostitution survivor trafficking interview irish examiner sex work feminism women rants

There’s an extremely important interview with a trafficking/prostitution survivor in the Irish Examiner.  So many of my experiences mirror what this eloquent, brave woman describes. Here’s an excerpt

“Under Irish law, the abusive nature of prostitution has been allowed to  flourish unhindered and it is a living hell for the women struggling to survive  within it. It is primarily for the sake of these women, but also for all of us  who want to live in a gender-equal society, that I am gladdened to see the Irish  Government finally pledge to tackle this issue.

“I only hope that they  go the right way about it, which is to criminalise the purchase of sex, because  nothing will change for prostituted women and girls until the commercialisation  of female bodies is dealt the hammer-blow it so richly deserves.

“To  those who would say legalisation would make prostitution safer: I think the same  thing any former prostitute I’ve ever spoken to thinks, which is that you may as  well legalise rape and battery to try to make them safer. You cannot legislate  away the dehumanising, degrading trauma of prostitution, and if you try to, you  are accepting a separate class of women should exist who have no access to the  human rights everyone else takes for granted.”

Read more.

15 Feb