By NIHARIKA S. JAIN and TARA SURI
Published: Tuesday, November 02, 2010
In a New Delhi village where a staggering 85 percent of women are victims of sex trafficking, the Najafgarh Community Centre is imprinted with the sign of Venus, the symbol for the female gender and for the anti-trafficking organization “Apne Aap Women Worldwide.” On its website, Apne Aap says it runs the Najafgarh Community Centre for the empowerment of women and children, a claim that it makes to donors worldwide. Unfortunately, the striking symbol and the large letters etched below it spelling out “Apne Aap” seem to be the organization’s only mark on the village.
We learned all this when we arrived in Najafgarh this summer with a bold idea to help the villagers transform their situation. After reading about Apne Aap and corresponding with its founder, Ruchira Gupta, we raised $20,000 to fund a vocational training program that would teach the women to sew and provide a sustainable job option as an alternative to prostitution. After an initial $12,000 donation, we received monthly reports from Apne Aap listing names of women and children involved in programs at the Community Centre. Yet we also received desperate e-mails from the community coordinator complaining that Apne Aap was not allocating money appropriately. But in light of the international accolades the organization had been receiving for its efforts to help female sex workers, we were loath to think our $12,000 contribution had been misused, Continue reading
By Audacia Ray, RH Reality Check.
Posted January 12, 2010.
Painting a portrait of people in the sex industry as victims without voices only perpetuates their disempowerment.
Since becoming a part of the U.S. sex worker rights movement five years ago, talking about contentious issues concerning bodies, labor, money, and rights has very much become my calling. In the past year alone, I’ve been quoted on CNN about the value of virginity, talked about South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford on WNYC’s The Takeaway, and admonished the Boston Herald for its slurs toward sex workers. Suffice to say, I give my opinion freely and often loudly.
I thought I knew a lot about sex work, rights, and organizing when, in September, I set off for two weeks in India with my colleague Khushbu Srivastava, Program Officer for Asia at the International Women’s Health Coalition. But as much as I am accustomed to being an “expert,” I quickly realized that I knew next to nothing about the nuances of Indian culture and the dynamics of the local struggle for sexual rights and reproductive health. While there are many things that I learned Continue reading
Last Updated: Saturday, July 4, 2009 09:37:47 Vietnam (GMT+07)
Truong Thi Hong Tam doesn’t try to hide the 10 years of her life she spent as a thief, drug-addict and prostitute.
On the contrary, she now uses her life experience to help others going through the same problems she once did.
Tam, 53, said she spent the 1980s in and out of drug rehabilitation centers and prostitution rehab centers where sex workers receive vocational training. Continue reading
By Jan Biles
Created June 27, 2009 at 10:32pm
Updated June 27, 2009 at 11:56pm
Kristy Childs ran away from an abusive stepfather when she was a teenager, and within a few months found herself under the control of a pimp and turning tricks first in Denver and then in other cities across the country.
Sometimes, the teenager and the men paying to have sex with her would be arrested and taken to jail. She would be charged with prostitution while the men would be released and told not to go back to the area of town where prostitutes worked.
Childs didn’t understand why she was punished more harshly. Continue reading
BY JOSH SHAFFER, Staff Writer
Published: Sat, Jun. 27, 2009 02:00AM
RALEIGH – Last week, Sheila Sanders celebrated five years of redemption — five years since she smoked a crack rock, five years since she turned a trick.
She shook off 13 years as a prostitute in Southeast Raleigh, lost years when she gave up four children to a neighbor, endured five rapes and scavenged meals from the trash — all to fill her pipe.
Five years ago, all she cared about was finding good-quality crack that hadn’t been cut with embalming fluid. Now she leads a support group at The Women’s Center downtown, counseling the very addicts who used to trick alongside her. Continue reading