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Tracy Osborne

Tracy Osborne

My name is Tracy Osborne. My mom gave birth to me when she was only 16, and my dad was 17, in Toronto Ontario on February 26, 1971. They were married shortly before I was born, but not happily. For as long as I can remember back my father was very abusive towards my mother both verbally and physically, and he also had a serious drinking problem. I remember when I was a child having a deep longing for my father’s approval, and even though I knew these awful things he had done to my mother.

Soon after my brother’s birth, my mother had learned it was time to divorce my father. I really struggled with their separation, and blamed myself for what had happened. I know now my mother did the best that she could struggling on her own, and with raising two small children, but at that time it just did not seem like it was enough.

When my grades began to slip and I lost focus on school; was just the start of my downward spiral. I soon started running away from home and stealing from Department stores, which was my silent cry for help.

I spent many times in and out of both open and closed juvenile facilities. It was at one of these open custody facilities that I met a young lady involved with prostitution, she just happened to be my roommate. We would spend many nights talking about her life as a prostitute, and she would tell me about all the money she made, and the wild times she had.

My life of prostitution was about to begin the night we ran away from the facility and ended up in downtown Toronto. I was about 15 years old.

After a few days we had separated and I was unable to find her. I remember walking around downtown broke and begging for change which led me to an arcade on Yonge St. While there I met an older American man, we talked, and he asked me if I would like to join him; I did.

For the first couple of weeks he took care of me, but soon came the suggestion for me to prostitute myself for him. He said we could have a perfect life together. It was only because I longed for love and affection that I agreed to his terms. This unhealthy relationship lasted on and off for over 20 years, and until I was finally strong enough to walk away from him.

I am now 36 years old. I have lost children along the way, and I have had some near death experiences, but I am trying to get my life back on track…

I am currently enrolled at George Brown College taking the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor Advocate Diploma program. I also provide peer speaking for various organizations, colleges and university programs, i.e. The Police Foundations program, Contemporary Social Problems Course at Humber College. And for the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit, 13th Annual Conference, in-which I provided video clips.

I still resort to prostitution to take care of my 12 year old child and myself, but I am working very hard towards getting out, and to help encourage others to take the steps needed as well.

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