In the Booth with Ruth – Tara Burns, Survivor of Labor Trafficking in the Sex Industry, Sex Worker and Sex Workers’ Rights Activist

Tara Burns, a sex trafficking survivor, sex worker and sex workers’ rights activist, discusses the advantages of the sex workers’ rights and anti-sex trafficking movements working together.

Ruth Jacobs

Tara Burns

Could you share how you became involved in the sex workers’ rights movement and why it’s so important to you?

There are so many moments that have added up to my becoming an activist. When I was sixteen a District Attorney declined to prosecute my father for abusing me and pimping me out because she thought a jury would not believe a teenage prostitute, even in the face of physical evidence. When I was an eighteen year old stripper I was raped and the police made fun of my dress and threatened to arrest me for making a false report. A decade ago when the Internet seemed young I discovered blogging, and sex worker bloggers like Audacia Ray helped me think critically about sex work and my life for the first time. In 2009 Carol Leigh explained the sex trafficking laws to me and I realized that a lot of…

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Collateral Damage: Sex Workers and the Anti-Trafficking Campaigns at Kampnagel, Hamburg

Ruth Jacobs

Guest post by Carol Leigh
http://vimeo.com/98282879

Trailer from Collateral Damage:
Sex Workers and the Anti-Trafficking Campaigns

This work is dedicated in Loving Memory to Andrew Hunter, who held my (virtual) hand through this process, encouraged me and provided an abundance of information and material.

FANTASIES THAT MATTER. IMAGES OF SEXWORK IN MEDIA AND ART

a conference in conjunction with Kampnagel International Summer Festival, Hamburg, in collaboration with Missy Magazine

“Beyond the moral and political questions of how to handle sex work, it has also become very clear that the debate is dominated by projections, fantasies and myths.”

Whore Images: Bleeding Hearts and Critical Thinking[1]

by Carol Leigh

I am honored to screen Collateral Damage: Sex Workers and the Anti-Trafficking Campaigns at Kampnagel’s sex work issues conference “FANTASIES THAT MATTER. IMAGES OF SEXWORK IN MEDIA AND ART.” The images of trafficking play a particularly crucial role in this crusade. The images

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In the Booth with Ruth – Meg Munoz, Former Sex Worker, Trafficking Survivor, Ally and Rights Advocate

Former sex worker, trafficking survivor, ally and rights advocate, Meg Munoz, discusses the advantages of the sex worker rights and anti-human trafficking movements working together and why she advocates for decriminalisation.

Ruth Jacobs

Meg Munoz

How did you become involved in the movement against sex trafficking and sexual exploitation?

Following my time in the industry, connecting with the sex worker rights and anti-trafficking movements was just natural. I started escorting at 18, but due to drug and alcohol issues, I took a break after about 2 years. A few years later, I found myself suddenly supporting myself and going to school so I went back. The reality is, I liked what I did. I loved the economic independence and personal freedom I felt. I had nice clients and good money rolling in, but based on social stigma, a lack of real support, and my family upbringing, I felt like hiding everything was my only choice.

About 2 years back into the industry, I had a close friend turn on me. He blackmailed me, threatened me, and literally terrorized me for the next 3 years while…

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Knowing the difference between sex-trafficking & sex work – A survivor speaks | WNN Features

529-UNITED_STATES_SexWorkersProtestSanFrancisco_ImageEliyaFlickrcc

With a goal in 2008 of showing the public that the ‘chosen’ career for sex workers versus those who suffer under forced sex-trafficking exploitation are two very distinctly different things, sex workers rally in protest for “rights to work legally” as they make a loud statement on the steps of the City Hall Building in downtown San Francisco, California (U.S.). In 2014 sex workers in the U.S. continue to feel that strong laws and legal rights are needed to protect their personal safety. Image Eliya/Flickr

Published on Women News Network – 16 January 2014

(WNN) London, UK, WESTERN EUROPE: When Ruth Jacobs had a chance to sit and interview Ms. Jes Richardson, a former sex worker, sex-trafficking survivor and sex worker rights activist, what Jacobs came away with was a unique unforgettable inside look at an industry where the definition of ‘exploitation’ needs to be carefully considered and defined, especially by those abolitionists working to stop human trafficking worldwide.

“Sex sells. There is no denying those two little words pack a mean right hook. Sex is used to sell everything from flame-broiled cheeseburgers to designer jeans. But god-forbid, actually selling sex,” outlines Richardson. “The sex industry includes two major demographics of people who are widely segregated. Sex workers are viewed by society as helpless souls who can’t possibly make healthy choices because they are victims and in desperate need of rescue. Trafficking survivors are viewed as pity cases who are incapable of doing much of anything besides art or sewing, and a pretty bedroom will solve the issues of complex trauma,” she continued.

“Both views are wrong but it’s hard to hear the voices of sex workers and trafficking survivors through the billowing echoes of the ‘voice of the voiceless’,” she added.

Richardson shares her insights, wisdom and honest ‘insider’ experience during a fascinating interview with journalist Ruth Jacobs… Read the full article on Women News Network here.

In the Booth with Ruth – Jes Richardson, Sex Trafficking Survivor, Former Sex Worker and Anti-Sex Trafficking & Sex Worker Rights Activist

Ruth Jacobs

Jes Richardson

How did you become involved in the movement against sex trafficking and sexual exploitation?

I first heard of sex trafficking four years ago. I was attending a District Meeting with a volunteer organization where the luncheon speaker was presenting on International and Domestic Sex Trafficking. As he presented, I realized for the first time that I had experienced trafficking and my abuse wasn’t my fault. Adding to the realization, I had been trafficked in the hotel where the District Meeting was being held, twelve years prior. At that moment, I knew I had to speak. I needed to share my journey. If I didn’t have awareness of what I had experienced, then how many other people shared those same experiences? This began my quest for a deeper understanding of the language surrounding my own journey and how we can be most effective in stopping trafficking.

You are also concerned in…

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Founder of Once Upon An Eden and survivor of extreme child abuse, Michelle Carmela, gives her opinion on Facebook’s issue of child sex abuse images

Ruth Jacobs

Michelle Carmela

Michelle Carmela was born and raised in a Mafia family. She is a survivor of incest, child rape, child labour and child prostitution. For over twenty-five years, she has been sharing her story and speaking out against child abuse. She advocates for victims and advises organisations, NGOs and governments. Michelle is the founder and CEO of Once Upon An Eden.

Are there issues with child sex abuse images on Facebook?

Yes, indeed there are problems Facebook has with allowing child sex abuse images on their site. I have been using Facebook since 2008 and in the early months, I came across so many hideous sites that promoted various abuses of infants, children and teenagers. In those days, it was easier to launch campaigns against such ghastly sites and get results to have the sites taken down. Now it is not so easy. It seems the standards of Facebook have declined…

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Chong Kim, a survivor of sex trafficking, meets me in London to talk about Eden, the newly released film based on her life

Chong Kim, a survivor of sex trafficking and an inspirational advocate, met with me this week while she was in London for the UK release of Eden, a film based on her real life story.

Ruth Jacobs

Eden is based on the real life story of sex trafficking survivor, Chong Kim, who was abducted at 19 years of age from Dallas, Texas. I met up with Chong in London to talk about the film and her life as a survivor and advocate.

Directed by Megan Griffiths
Starring Jamie Chung, Matt O’Leary and Beau Bridges

“Nothing short of gripping” – Indiewire
“Arrestingly suspenseful” – Variety
“Powerful” – Village Voice
“Breathtaking” – Austin Chronicle
“Brave, gritty, complex and suspenseful. Jamie Chung gives the best performance of her career.” NYC Movie Guru

“In the Booth with Ruth – Chong Kim” Produced by Matthew Lynch (www.jlfilmandmedia.com)

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