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Tammy

Well, it all started at the home front. I would always go into my moms and step dad’s room to lie on the bed while they slept and watch TV. One night when my mom wasn’t around, he creped his hand down my leg and started feeling my privates. I was young and I felt very vulnerable. I wasn’t sure if it was right or wrong but, despite that bad touch there was a good sensation, and I kept going back. The entire time guilt consumed me but I did it anyway and I blamed myself. I really wanted to tell someone. I told my Mom and she didn’t believe me.

Around this time my sister, Ligma ran away to California and started prostituting. She was 12. She wasn’t around when we went to court for the molestation. My mother got on the stand and said that her boyfriend touched me in his sleep, while believing it was her and not me, and so they dropped the charges. I then went into a foster home and my foster dad tired sexually abusing me too. He was already abusing my foster sister before I got there. I felt unsafe, confused, and alone. I remember feeling so scared, I didn’t no what I should do next. I just wanted to go home to my bed and have a normal life, you know? Go to sleep and wake up and maybe think it was a dream, but it wasn’t. I found that out soon after I returned home with my family. It was alright for a bit.

Then we found Ligma, she came home after 2yrs of being missing. One night, Ligma, Natasha and I, went to a club in downtown Calgary. I was told I had to ‘choose’ a pimp. “Choosing” is a pimping term in ‘the game’ of prostitution. I was forced at 17 years old to pick 1 of the 5 pimps who all stood around me. I picked Snake. I’m not even sure why. I was prostituted in Calgary for a week then we flew to Toronto, and I choose another pimp named A.J. I was wined and dined to the hilt for about a year and lived an extravagant life. I was young, attractive and had a run-way model body. I probably made him over a million dollars over a 5 year period. He abused me mentally and physically. I wasn't aloud to have any friends. He brainwashed me to believe I couldn’t trust anyone, and that they’d all ‘stab me in the back’. And, I wasn’t aloud to talk to my family either. He said that he was my family and that he would be my only family. Sometimes AJ would let my sister come over to visit, but he wouldn’t even let her sit on the couches so she had to sit on the floor. This made me feel bad, and I still feel bad for it sometimes.

My sister isn’t doing so well today. I worry about her everyday. I hope she comes home again. A.J often beat me with hangers. He even knocked out my 2 front teeth. Another time he made me sit on a 14th floor balcony while naked for 3 hours, when I had I period. He also used weight lifting belts and his hands to strangle me. Twice I thought I was going to die this way. I was so scared for my life. He ruined my life and I wanted to leave but the money was so good and I was conditioned to believe I was supposed to make money this way – lots of it.

How could I leave it? I knew how to make lots of money and I was conditioned to believe money was everything in life. I always drove a nice car, i.e. corvette, jags, etc. Life seemed good, but I had no real comparison. Really things were BAD. I couldn’t escape...every night I thought about how I could get out of the game and leave AJ. I had fantasies of killing him in his jag (that I paid for) and I would be free. But I was conflicted. I wanted love too. Until one day, after 9 yrs of HELL, while I was in Winterpeg (lol) I read an article and there it said right on the front page of the paper that 3 Winnipeg pimps were charged in beating and kidnapping.

This was the opportunity I needed away from his control. He went to jail. I moved. I felt free as a bird finally after all those years of hell. Today after 16 years, and a few abusive relationships later, I am now a beauty consultant for Mary Kay, a lifeguard and an aqua fitness instructor. I am also single, independent, and a proud mom of four beautiful children I raised on my own. I have gained all my self respect back and I am now an advocate against pimp abuse and the exploitation of women and children.

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