Human Trafficking Awareness month – Ruth Jacobs Interviews

January 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm 1 comment


For Human Trafficking Awareness Month, author and charity campaigner for sexually exploited and prostituted women, Ruth Jacobs, is undertaking a series of interviews with human trafficking survivors, activists, advocates, filmmakers, writers and feminists. The full list of interviews can be viewed here and includes interviewees from the UK, America, Canada and South Africa.


Below are extracts from some of the UK participants.

Rebecca Mott, Exited Prostituted Woman and Abolitionist:  “I choose to fight for the prostituted class for I believe it is vital for exited prostituted women to take hold of the leadership of the abolition movement. I believe deeply that for many centuries the words and views of the prostituted class has been forced into silence, mainly because the ‘history’ of prostitution has been made in the interest of the profiteers of the sex trade. This means that any language of the prostituted that shows any form of discontent, or that seeks a path to full humanity, is censored. The only language that is allowed to be public is the voice of the ‘happy hooker’ – which is the voice of the pimp and the voice of the punter. I want the multiple voices of the vast majority of the prostituted to rise to the top, the voices of a whole class that has been enslaved and silenced. One way this can happen is through pushing to the forefront of the abolition movement the multiple voices of exited women who know the real face of the sex trade.” To read the full interview with Rebecca Mott click here.


DublinCallGirl:  “I started blogging after being inspired by Rebecca and others and this put me in touch with lots of other really compassionate, lovely people, and I’m so happy for it. No one except for a couple of friends knew about my past, so this is a much needed support. Writing the blog was such a mind opening experience. I learnt all about the different abolition movements, the pro sex work groups, I learnt about all the different (sometimes ridiculous) terminology used. Good things and bad things, I learnt about it all, at the same time as writing my own experiences and hopefully opening other people’s minds to the idea that it isn’t just ‘choice V trafficking’, when in fact of course this industry is nothing black or white, but a million shades of grey.” To read the full interview with DublinCallGirl click here.


Virginia Heath, Anti-Human Trafficking Advocate and Filmmaker: “As a woman filmmaker, I have always felt strongly about issues of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. In 2009, I was asked if I would write and direct a film – My Dangerous Loverboy – that would raise awareness of the sexual exploitation and internal trafficking of young people in the UK. At the time, this was an extremely hidden issue. There was a slowly growing awareness of women being sex trafficked into the UK from abroad but very little recognition that British teenagers were being groomed, moved around and sexually exploited by gangs in our own towns and cities. It was happening right on our doorstep. As part of the research for writing the film, I was taken to hang out in places like shopping malls, back streets and parks where grooming was taking place. I was shocked to see what was going on with my own eyes.” To read the full interview with Virginia Heath click here.


Nicole Rowe, Feminist, Anti-Sex Trade Activist and Co-Founder of Nordic Model Advocates (NorMAs): “As a feminist activist, you have to be wilfully blind to ignore the sex trade. I was planning a one-off activist stunt around sex trafficking at a UK activist training event, and was fortunate that those I met were passionate and dedicated enough to want to form an organisation with me to tackle the foundation that holds trafficking up – prostitution. If we lived in a world where women’s bodies were not for sale, then sex traffickers would not be able to operate. So, the best place to start alleviating the problem of trafficking is with prostitution.” To read the full interview with Nicole Rowe click here.


Michelle Sweeney, Anti-Human Trafficking Activist: “The next thing I did was approach my church on the subject and as it turned out, they have a mission project that works with trafficking victims. It is called the Freedom Project, set up in 2010 to help young girls, women, and boys who have had their freedom taken away from them and find themselves being used and brutally exploited by what is termed as sex trafficking. In October 2012, a team of us ran the Coventry half marathon to raise funds for this project; it was a privilege to be able to get my hands dirty. With my church, I also do outreach work every week with an organisation called Embrace. I have had training in areas of human trafficking and other areas to enable me to go out and volunteer with the team. Embrace is a charity that works with vulnerable women in prostitution. Embrace believe that every woman can live a free, fulfilled and purposeful life, and Embrace stands with them in it and journeys them into freedom.” To read the full interview with Michelle Sweeney click here.


Magda M. Olchawska, Anti-Human Trafficking Activist and Filmmaker: “Towards the end of 2010, I started reading a lot about human and sex trafficking. I also watched a movie called The Whistleblower, based on a true story of how UN soldiers were trafficking girls from former Soviet Union to former Yugoslavia. However, the most influential person who inspired me was a lady I met on Twitter, Lynn Robertson. Lynn’s work and dedication made me inspired to write a script and then to turn it into a movie. I wanted to be involved in the fight against sex and human trafficking in any possible way. At that time, I thought the best way for me to make society more aware of the huge problem we are facing was to make a ‘fictional’ movie.” To read the full interview with Magda M. Olchawska click here.


Sheila Quigley, Author and Ally of Human Trafficking Victims: “My first novel, Run for Home, is about a family living on what some people call a sink estate. Thirteen-year-old Claire is enticed away by the delectable Brad, thinking she is going to be part of a film. He leads her to the docks where she’s taken prisoner. There, she finds two other girls on the boat. All are to be sold into the sex trade.” To read the full interview Sheila Quigley click here.


Gemma Wilson, Anti-Human Trafficking Activist: “When people who were once trafficked are rescued and out of the hands of traffickers, they often recount the days and years spent in slavery as being worse than what they imagined death to be like. That reality is something that I can’t even begin to imagine, but is something I now know about, albeit from an external perspective. The first modern day slave’s story I heard was that of Long Pross. Her story is real, and when I heard it, it became a part of my own. Wilberforce is quoted as having said, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” Once we know, we are responsible. The reality faced by fellow members of the human race is something to which we must face up; we have the means to end their misery. I firmly believe that when you see something wrong, you should take stock of the tools in your hands and use them to work towards change. That is all that can be done, but that is how things are done.” To read the full interview with Gemma Wilson click here.


Find out more at Human Trafficking Awareness Month.


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