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I was introduced to the sex trade later in life, rather than most women, I was in my late 20's and had lived with abuse much of my life. I had extremely low self-esteem and became involved in many unhealthy and abusive relationships. One abusive relationship in particular led to my introduction to drug addiction. I was so naive that I trusted the man who swore he loved me and wanted to take care of me and I quickly became addicted to cocaine, I lost everything (including my children) and found myself forced to live in a dirty basement under a store where my boyfriend sold me to any dealer who would provide him with drugs. Soon after he began to force me out onto the streets to work and would threaten physical harm if I refused. I was arrested many times during this period of my life, had no support and was beaten up frequently. My weight plummeted to 98 lbs and I just wanted to die. I had no identity and was the property of my boyfriend.

Eventually with the help of a caring police officer who had seen enough I was able to get into a rehabilitation center. I am now 5 years clean of drugs and am about to graduate from the Assaulted Women and children's Counsellor and Advocate program at George Brown. I teach life skills, provide counselling and resources for women in the community and their children, and I assist women struggling with addictions by means of accompanying them to appointments and providing advocacy. I also regained custody of my own 4 children who still reside with me.

Through my ordeal I have never forgotten the peer support I received from other women who had been victims of the sex trade. These women helped me find my strength and the will to change my life and also inspired me to go back to school to do what i always felt I was meant to do. I am dedicated to showing other women that there is a way out and that no woman is ever a mans property. I am also dedicated to educating the public about the women in the sex trade industry, in hopes to dispel misconceptions and judgements in-which these women are faced with on a daily bases.

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