Former sex trade worker helps pressure Ottawa to restore funding for counselling
LONDON, ONT. -- She had a childhood that no young girl should have to endure.
At the age of four she was involved in child pornography and for much of her life she has been used in the sex-trafficking trade.
As time went on the abuse only escalated by those who controlled her.
“In my early twenties I was trafficked again by a new group that's where a lot of the severe abuse and torture started happening, “ said the former sex trade worker we are only identifying as “Brenda”.
“A lot of people that were purchasing were looking to live out what they’re not going to get with your wife or girlfriend so it was very violent, it was basically rape the entire time.”
Brenda said she has lived with fear her whole life.
“I had one person that hadn't paid me and I had a knife held to my throat because I was still responsible for that income for that trafficker even though I hadn't actually received any money, “ said Brenda.
“There were times when I wasn't working because the physical abuse had got so bad that my body was marked up too much.”
But with help from the London Abused Women’s Centre and London Police, Brenda was able to break free from her abusers and their mind games.
“They make you think you don't have any safe way out.” said Brenda.
Now she is helping the centre pressure the federal government to restore funding for it’s anti-sex trafficking programs.
“And I just think it's completely irresponsible that the government would deny women like Brenda from accessing service given what they've experienced in their lives.” Said Megan Walker the Executive Director of the centre.
Over the past five years, 650 women in the sex trafficking trade have received counselling at LAWC.
Brenda has benefited from the programs and is turning her life around with a new job, an apartment, and a car.
“It's almost starting fresh and learning to start right from the beginning, I've got to learn what everybody got to learn their entire life.” adds Brenda.