Archive for the category “Prostitution”

‘All I was good for was sex’

This is our City shares the story of Jessica Richardson, who as a teenager was working at a restaurant when she was deceived into joining a charming man on his “travels.” Jessica, who had been sexually abused as a child and lost her father when she was 10, was easy prey, and he turned her out into prostitution and pornography.

Now a follower of Jesus and member of City Bible Church in east Portland, Jessica is one of the best-known survivors in the city, speaking to churches and schools to expose the lie that says anyone is only good for sex and testify to Christ’s transforming love and acceptance.

You will be deeply moved by Jessica’s transparency about her struggles, her life on the street, and the freedom, hope, and joy she has discovered through Christian community. After watching Jessica’s video testimony here, you can read a Q&A with her here.

Raped at 13, sold for sex, Sara Kruzan shot her pimp

Update – July 5, 2012: The California Supreme Court has returned the case of Sara Kruzan — who killed her pimp when she was 16 years old — back to Riverside Superior Court, where she was originally convicted.

Kim Deanne reports at FreeSaraKruzan:

Sixteen-year-old human trafficking victim Sara Kruzan was sentenced to life in prison without parole when, after years of sexual, physical and mental abuse, she shot her pimp. When Sara met G.G., the 31-year-old man who would become her pimp, she was only 11. G.G. groomed Sara two years before he raped her. By then, his control was complete and he forced her into prostitution. Sara and the other girls who G.G. exploited were out on the streets from 6pm to 6am, every night. Twelve hours a night, seven days a week, for three years, Sara was raped by strangers so G.G. could profit. After three years, she snapped, and she killed him.

Now 33, Sara has spent half her life in prison as a model prisoner. Sara was arrested and tried in 1994, before anyone was using the term “human trafficking” and when the country was still struggling to understand issues like domestic violence and pimp control that give one person coercive control over another. So there was no expert witness at Sara’s trial to explain how her years of repeated rape, trauma, and abuse had affected her actions. There was no expert to tell the jury that with counseling, support, and care, Sara could heal from her traumatic past and grow to be a strong and moral woman.

Last year Sara’s clemency plea was submitted to Gov. Schwarzenegger, in which he granted clemency by commuting Sara’s sentence to Life with parole. Although reducing Sara’s sentence provided her with hope that she would eventually be freed, many petitioners, along with myself, feel that Sara has served more than enough time and that Time Served should be granted.

The decision of whether or not to release Sara with time served rests solely with Gov. Jerry Brown. Sara Kruzan has spent the past 17 years in prison and deserves freedom. After surviving being raped and sold for three years as a child she deserves a chance to be a free woman, now.

Visit www.freesarakruzan.org to help Sara Kruzan.

Oldest profession, or oldest oppression?

Amy L. Sherman reports for This Is Our City:

In 2008, Paul Herbert was using Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life to disciple his teenage daughters on Sunday evenings. They weren’t enjoying it much. One night, they turned the tables on him. “One asked me, ‘Daddy, what’s your purpose in life?’ ”

“That really got me,” says the Municipal Court Judge of Franklin County, Ohio. He gave a vague answer about being “a light on the bench,” but that night, he prayed candidly to God. “I said, ‘God, I realize that being a judge is a very unique position. Not many people get this opportunity. Can you show me some way that I could be significant for you in my work?’ ”

About nine months later, Herbert, 51, was presiding in arraignment court. A typical procession of domestic violence victims passed before him. “A woman will come in, and she’ll have these bright red marks around her neck. Clumps of her hair will be pulled out, maybe she’ll have a puffy eye or a broken jaw — it’s horrible.” After seeing several of these women, the sheriff brought a prostitute before him. “She looked exactly like one of those victims that I’d been seeing,” Herbert recounts. It shook up his categories.

Soon after, Herbert began researching the criminology of prostitution. What he learned stunned him. “Around 87 percent of these women are sexually abused, typically starting at around age 8,” he explains. “They start using drugs to deal with that trauma around age 12.” The girls run away from home or foster care and are dragged by predatory pimps into the commercial sex trade. “They are not in this lifestyle because they are nymphomaniacs who want to have sex with 15 different men a night.”

Before, Herbert admits, “I would have said that women engaged in prostitution were involved in the world’s oldest profession.” Now he considers it “the world’s oldest oppression.”

Herbert decided to establish a restorative justice program for these women, launching CATCH Court — “Changing Attitudes to Change Habits” — in September 2009 with the support of his colleagues. Traditional treatment and probation had never been successful with this population, Herbert explains. Prostitutes simply cycled in and out of jail. … Through the two-year CATCH Court, women are sent to residential rehabilitation programs to detox and receive intensive therapy.

Read the full article here.

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