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Christine Barkhouse

My name is Christine Abagail Barkhouse. I’m 24 yrs old and the second oldest of six children all one year apart. This is a brief summary of who I was, how I became ‘that way’, and the direction it took me to be who I am, and where I want to be. I remember having the desire to help take care of my siblings since the age of 3. Growing up with a father with ties to the K.K.K was not easy; along, with my mother who suffered from depression and other mental health issues.

I had encountered my first sexual abuse experience while in foster care at the age of 6 till 7. The fact my foster parents were aware of the situation and had done nothing to prevent it spoiled my trust in authority. At around 11 yrs old my mother took us kids to women’s shelter hoping to leave the abuse behind. Not long after I had entered the sex trade while fleeing the thought of going back into foster care. I was on the street for about 3 days and everyday an individual kept trying to convince me that his only intention was to help me. I finally took his help believing his female friends would take care of me. I was so wrong!

That was when my journey of prostitution began. After about a year of being under watch and soaking in the tricks of the trade in order to survive, I was given an opportunity to escape the individual that had recruited me. It didn’t take long before I was propositioned by my aunt’s neighbour for sex. I spent the next 8 yrs or so enduring drug abuse, sexual abuse physical and worst of all mental abuse. That neighbour to this day still stocks me and will do anything to find me; including, threatening to start a relationship with my sisters. Now I’ve been clean about 3 or 4 yrs from drugs, but I still struggle with drinking and will continue to struggle for the rest of my life.

I’m no longer in the sex trade and attending a pre-college program at George Brown College, and I plan to get my diploma in the “Assaulted Womens/Childrens Counselling Advocacy” program. I am now spending my life helping others get through and overcome the traumas, like the ones I had in my life.

Former sex trade workers and human trafficking survivors (from right) Natasha Falle, Trisha Baptie, Bridgett Perrier, Christine Barkhouse worry about a recent court ruling striking down prostitution laws and say Canada must take further steps to keep women safe from trafficking and pimps. (Alex Urosevic, QMI Agency)
Read more: [CNEWS Canada, Click Here]

Former sex-trade worker Christine Barkhouse (centre) is overcome with emotion as she and Bridget Perrier (right) speak to members of the media at the Ontario Superior Court, Tuesday afternoon, October 5, 2010. Photograph by: Aaron Lynett, National Post
Read more: [Canada.com, Click Here]

Christine Barkhouse attends a press conference at which former sex-trade workers discuss the recent decriminalization of prostitution.
Read more: [Metro News, Click Here]
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