An open letter from Survivors of Prostitution and Trafficking

Dear Presidential Candidates,

We, the undersigned survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking, have experienced years of abuse, violence, objectification, and dehumanization in the sex trade. We know first-hand the devastating harm and long-term trauma that happens as a result of being exploited in an industry predicated on racial, gender, and income inequality.

We are aware that candidates running for President are being asked for their positions on proposals to decriminalize the sex trade, and we are deeply alarmed, honestly horrified, by recent statements that suggest an openness to decriminalizing the sex trade in its entirety. We urge presidential candidates to learn from survivors the truth about the pervasive harms and suffering perpetrated by sex buyers, pimps, traffickers, and other exploiters before issuing statements about the sex trade.

At a time when we are culturally taking a stand against violence and harassment towards women and marginalized groups, creating spaces of inclusion and opportunity, why would we take a step backward by allowing these very groups to be further exposed to the harms of prostitution as long as it is monetized?

To be clear, we support decriminalizing people sold in prostitution, as we care deeply about their safety and well-being. We know all too well that marginalized groups are at higher risk for exploitation and therefore are especially vulnerable to the harms of the sex trade. But decriminalizing the sex trade in its entirety would have disastrous consequences. Do not be confused- full decriminalization means allowing pimps, sex buyers, and brothel owners to operate with impunity. Sex trafficking (including that of children) and organized crime increases when pimping and sex buying are legalized.

As survivors, our voices and lived experiences are essential to these discussions. We are eager to share our perspectives and have a productive dialogue with all Presidential candidates and others running for elected office. However, we will not be spoken for or have our voices hijacked by anyone claiming that trafficking survivors support full decriminalization of pimps, buyers, and brothel owners. We will no longer stand by while our truths are misunderstood or misrepresented to support the misguided aims of the pro-prostitution “de facto” progressive political agenda.

The vast majority of survivors of prostitution and trafficking want to put an end to the buying and selling of vulnerable people and know first hand that the best way to do so is to ensure that pimping and sex buying remain behaviors that aren’t encouraged or tolerated.

Respectfully,

Rev. Dr. Marian Hatcher, Survivor Leader
SPACE International U.S.A. — Member
Ambassador-At-Large, United Nations

Rebecca Bender, MACT
CEO & Founder: RBI, Survivor Leader

Signees:*

Abbey Brooks-Derzay
Account Manager

A.L.
Development Consultant

Alexandra Wright
Operations Specialist
The Samaritan Women

Alexis Flores
Survivor

Alicia Ley
Director of Safe Housing
RAHAB Ministries

Alisa Bernard
Director of Education and Partnerships
The Organization for Prostitution Survivors

Allana Bearse
Founder
The Little Tree Project, LLC

Allison Franklin Hogg
Policy Fellow and Survivor Leader
Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

Ally-Marie Diamond
Survivor

Amanda Casey
Director of Advocacy
Trafficking Justice

Amanda Gale Forest
Founder, Survivor Advocate
OCEANS

Amelia Tiganus
feminist activist and abolitionist of prostitution

Amy Cornelius
Founding Director
Sidewalk Soldiers

Amy Engle
LAMFT

Amy Smith

Amy Wing

Andrea Benson

Andrea Lavigne
Sex Trafficking Think Tank

Angel Jade
MachSpeed

Angela R. Clark
Survivor Consultant
National Survivor Network

Angelica K.

Angie Conn
Survivor of HT and commercial exploitation

Ann Marie Jones

Anna M. McDonald
Qualified Mental Health Specialist
Allwell Behavioral Health Services

Anneke Lucas
President
Liberation Prison Yoga

Annie Lobert
President & Founder
Hookers For Jesus

April De Los Santos
Survivor Mentor
One More Child

April Scarborough
President and Founder/ survivor
Victoria’s Lighthouse

Arcie
RunawayGirl Inc

Aron Katrina Massey
Founder
MPower

Arthi Sachdev
Accounting Clerk
Awaken

Ashlie Bailey
Survivor Leader
Henry, Leroy, Oscar Call Your Mom! Campaign

Aubrey Lloyd

Audra Hill
Survivor leader
Into The Jordan

Audrey Morrissey
Associate Director
My Life My Choice

Autumn Burris
Founding CEO
Survivors for Solutions

Barbara Amaya
Author, Advocate
BASMARTGIRL

Barbara Graham

Bernie Weigand

Brandy Funk
Support Staff
Aspen House

B.C.
E-Commerce Specialist
Free Our Girls Rebecca Binder Initiative/Elevate Academy/Free Our Girls

Brenda Marcos

Brenda Myers-Powell
Executive Director
Dreamcatcher Foundation

Brenda V
CLOYD

Bridget Perrier
Co-Founder/First Nations Educator
Sextrade101

Brittany Dobson

Brittany Maynard
1999

Brittany Meyer
Advocate

Brittney Garcia
Admissions Coordinator
Aspen Magdalene House

Brook Parker Bello PH.D
CEO
More Too Life

Bunny Singleton
The Organization For Prostitution Survivors

C. Daniels

Callie Sheard

Cara Clark
Survivor
Rebecca Bender Initiative-Elevate Academy

Carissa Phelps
CEO “Creating Employment Opportunities”
Runaway Girl, Inc.

Carli

Carmen
Consultant
Survivor

Caroline Lambert
Table on Delk, Inc

Cassandre
Exited

Catherine Elizabeth Geren
Survivor Leader
CourageLIVES

Cecilia

Cecilia Lopez
Founder
A21 Freedom Chasers

Chanel Dionne

Charlene Flynn

Chelsea Anderton
Survivors Angels / Survivors of the Sex Trade

Chelsey Buckley
Survivor Leader and Mentor
Bags of Hope and We Rise

Chelsie Ann Lancaster
Elijah Rising

Cheri Crider
Outreach Survivor Leader
Amirah, Inc.

Cherie Jimenez
Survivor, Director
EVA Center

Chris Stark
Author, Educator, Consultant
Survivor

Christine Cesa
Survivor Advocate

Cindy Hathcock
Executive Director
My Safe Haven

Corina Hernandez
Advocate

Courtney Alihelisdi
Survivor Advocate

Cristian Eduardo Nava Lopez

Crystal Touchstone
Survivor Leader
One More Child

Dallas Seibert

Dana Levy
Self Employed

Darlene Pawlik
Speaker
The Darling Princess

Dasha

Debra Haltom

Debra Rush
Founder/CEO
Breaking the Chains

Delores D. Day
Executive Director
Restore Innocence Ranch

Denise Roman
Treasures Ministry

Desiree J Trail
Mother, Artist, Public Speaker

Diane Campbell Bridge Hope

dmrdel

Donna E. Bruce
Peer Counselor

Dorothy Hurley
Case Manager
Cedar Ridge Behavioral Health

Dr. Alexandra (Sandi) Pierce
Othayonih Research

Dr. Ingeborg Kraus
Founder
Scientists for a World without prostitution

Dr. Jennifer Lovenstein
Pharmacist

Dr. Vednita Carter
Founder/CEO
Vednita Carter Ministries

Drea Douglas

Ebony Linker
Survivor

Eileen Martinez
Coordinator

Em Ann

Emily Grace

Emily Hollerbach
Growth and Support Specialist

Emily Shore
Author/Advocate
Women At Risk, Int/Independent Author

Emmy Myers
Founder
Lacey’s Hope Project

Eric Harris
Consultant
Indiana Trafficking Victim Assistance Program ITVAP

Erin Wright
Founder CEO
SHE Survivors for Hope by Empowerment

Esther

Estrella Sanchez

Felicia J Hyde

Filcaise

Fiona Broadfoot
CEO
Build A Girl Project

Gabriela Lozano

Gabriella
Waitress
Bags of Hope

Geneviève Gilbert
Founder and CEO
Pink Cross Foundation Australia

Gina M Salazar
Victim Advocate /Survivor Leader

Grizelda Write
Survivor Exit

Hailey Grace
Survivor
The Underground

Hannah Bedwell

Hannah Blair

Hannah Jones
Intake Specialist

Heather Hammerstrom

Heather Johnson

Hunter Lang

Huschke Mau M.A.
Netzwerk Ella

Iain Martin
Oilfield truck driver
Hookers for Jesus

Jackie Lynne
Co-founder
Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry (Canada)

Jacqueline Lea
Area Retail Sales Manager
Veronica’s Voice, Inc.

Jacquelynn Loos
Community Advocate Supervisor
REST

Jane
Founder and executive Director
Glory House

Janine Montgomery
Executive Director
Youth Trust Project

Jasmine
Director
Jasmine Road

Jasmine
CEO/Founder
SAFE Network Inc

Jasmine Grace Marino
Founder & Director
Bags of Hope Ministries

Jasmine Hall

Jasmine Holcomb
Case Specialist

J. B.
Child Sex Trafficking Survivor

Jeanette Chamberlain

Jeanette Westbrook
MSSW
SPACE International

Jenifer Hankel
Deputy

Jenn Martin
Survivor Mentor

Jenni S. Jessen
CEO
Compass 31

Jennifer A Murphy
Founder, CEO & Clinical Director
Fabulous Faithful Freedom Fighters, Inc.

Jennifer Heard
Sidewalk Soldiers

Jennifer Tucker
CSE Survivor and Advocate
Esteem Outreach, Life Center Church — Tacoma

Jeri Moomaw
Executive Director
Innovations Human Trafficking Collaborative

Jerome Elam
CEO and President
Trafficking in America Task Force

Jerry Thomas

Jes

Jess

Jessica Benke

Jessica Brumley
Server

Jessica Kay Halling
Program Director
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children

Jessica L. Kim
Vice president
Survivor Leader Network of San Diego

Jessica Lindner
Free Our Girls

Jessica Patton
Victim/Survivor of Sex Trafficking

Jessika
Survivor

Jewell Baraka
Writer
Exodus Cry

Jill Martin

Jim Gibbs
CEO

Jodie West

Julie Medeiros
Program Director

Kailee Diaz

Kasie Robbins

Kat Wehunt
Executive Director
The Formation Project

Katarina MacLeod
Founder
Rising Angels

Kathi Hardy
Founder/ Executive Director
Freedom From Exploitation, Inc.

Kathleen Mitchell
Retired Founder
DIGNITY Phoenix AZ

Kathy Bryan
Director of Operations
Rebecca Bender Initiative

Kathy McGibbon
Director of Outreach
Street Grace

Katrina Taylor
Awareness Cordinator

Katy

Kayla Ravanelli

Kayti Batya
Survivor Leader
Street Grace

Keelin Washington

Keisha Head
Founder
Project 360 Degrees

Kelley Alsobrook

Kelly Dore
Executive Director
National Human Trafficking Survivor Coalition

Kelly Patterson
Life Treasures LLC

Kelsie Lawson

Kendra
Survivor speak/advocate
Lavished Ministry

Kim F

Kimberly S
Caregiver/ survivor ambassador
Lotus Legal Clinic

Krishonda Arnold
Freedom Calling

Kristen Tebow, LMSW
Founder Youth Trust Project

Kristine H.

Kristy Childs
Founder, President
Veronica’s Voice

Krystal Mach

Kyra Doubek
CSEC Behavioral Health Specialist
Kent Youth & Family Services

La Toya Gix
Executive Director
Divine Interventionz L.P.

Laura D
Healthcare Professional

Laura Jimenez

Laura Mancuso
A21 Campaign

Laurin Crosson
Founder /Director Rockstarr.org
LB

LeeAnn Lemke

Leprêtre

Leslie Evans

Leslie F. King
Founder/CEO
Sacred Beginnings

Leticia Reyes
PTA president
Sanctuary for Families

LeTishia Miers
Food service
Survivor SWLA Abolitionist

Liletha Williams
CoFounder
Survivor Impact Group

Lily Rivera

Lina
Sex trafficking survivor

Linda
Teached
Catholic

Lindsey Hass
Survivor advisory Consultant
South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force

Lisa Hughes
Advocate

Liz Kaney Myntti
Social Services Program Manager
RBI

LJ Owen M.A., J.D., Esq.

Loretta Gale
1959

Lucy Bloom
Veronica’s Voice

Lydia Lawson

Lynn Schirmer

M Hines
One Amarillo

M Williams
Survivor

Madonna Collins
College student
Survivor

Makia
SWKA

Marie Merklinger
Member SPACE International

Marjorie Saylor
Founder/CEO
The Well Path

Marlene B Laxina
Legal Advocate

Marti MacGibbon
Author, Comedian

Martin Dufresne
Translator
Montreal Men Against Sexism

Mary Ann McGann

Mary Parrish

Mary Skelly
Registered Nurse

Mary Tibbetts
Chief Advisor and Survivor Lead
Just Love Worldwide

Matthew Morgan

Megan Lundstrom
Executive Director
Free Our Girls

Melanie Thompson
Survivor Advocate

Mercedes Pickard
Sex-Trafficking Victims Advocate
Community-Works

Michele Dailey
Office Administrator
Survivor

Michelle Abel

Michelle Johnson
Survivor Engagement
Empower225

Michelle Lew

Mrs. Mickey Meji
Member SPACE International

Mikala Kay
Nurses Aide

Mindy Best
C-CHW NA

Missy

Misty

Misty Hall
Resident Director
Transformation Garden

Mitchell Hellum

Molly Cole

Monica Gary
Pastor

Monya Davis MA CATC IV
INTERVENTION PROFESSIONALS

Myjah Williams

Nancy C Dodd
Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force

Natasha Falle
Director of Services
Sex Trade 101: Public Awareness & Education

Ne’Cole Daniels
Member SPACE International

Nichole Burrell

Nicole
Bartender
Valiant Hearts

Nicole Azaán
Certified Coach & Behavioral Consultant
Life After Trafficking Empowerment

Nicole Bell Chief
Executive Officer
Living In Freedom Together-LIFT

Nikki
Recovery specialist
Bags of Hope Ministry/ Survivor

Nikki Gonzalez

Nikki Musgrave
Cashier

Nola Kesia Brantley-Harris
CEO
Nola Brantley Speaks

Paige Starcher

Pamala M. Pilkington

Pamela Grace

Poppy Jean Romero

Rachel
Survivor
Beloved

Rachel Moran
Founder
SPACE International

Rachel Niemiec
Nurse Practitioner and Survivor
New England Coalition Against Trafficking (NECAT)

Rachel Pointer
Movement Liaison
Free The People Movement

Rebecca Bender
CEO & Founder, Survivor Leader
Rebecca Bender Initiative

Rebecca Mott
Writer
Nordic Model Now and blogger

Rebekah Charleston
Executive Director
Valiant Hearts

Rebekah Smiltneek
Communication Director
Freedom Cry Inc.

Regina Dao
LGBTQ+ Adolescent Health Specialist

Renae

Renee Galvan
Teacher

Rev. Dr. Marian Hatcher
Ambassador-At-Large United Nations
SPACE International U.S.A. — Member

Robin Levasseur
Advocate for Sexual Assault Miss

Robin Miller
Survivor and Advocate

Roslynn Gallegos

Russell Glenn Wilson
Human Trafficking Subject Matter Expert/Consultant

Ruth Rondon
Retired
Michigan human trafficking Health Advisory Board

Ruth Scanlan

Ruth-Ann Moody

Ryn Hammontree
Ambassador
4Sarah and Atlanta redemption ink

Sabrinna Valisce
Member
SPACE International

Samantha Hardy
Bayside Christian Church

Samantha Houghtaling

Sandra Norak

Sandy Storm
Author, Speaker & Abolitionist

Sara
Elevate Academy

Sarah

Sarah Barbot
Executive Director
Be the Light, Inc

Sarah Eytalis
Survivor

Sarah Vegas
Founder and Executive Director
Stand 4 Justice Movement

Sarah Zalonis
Consultant/Research/Data
Polaris Project and Courtneys House

Sari Hunt

Savannah Parvu
Survivor Leader & Speaker

September Trible

Shamere McKenzie
Chief Executive Officer
Sun Gate Foundation

Shandra Woworuntu
CEO Mentari

Shanna Parker
CEO
Angels Go To Work

Shawnee Love HHD, PhD
Founder/Owner, Doctor, Legal Adviser, Survivor Leader, Investigator, Activist, Visionary, Writer, Advocate, Social Worker, Ethics Monitor, etc…
Purple Hearts Missions Possible & Healthy Horizons {The Original}; Native American Warriorz Task Force

Shay Carter

Sheila Rivera
Volunteer Recovery facilitator Survivor — many affiliations

Sherry Lynn Dooley

Simone Watson
Director
Nordic Model Australia Coalition

Sonia Dunlap
Shade

Stacie Spriggs

Stacy Reed
Supervisor of Mentoring Services
RIA House

Stanna Wieclawska Kyriakou
Consultant Forensic Pathologist
talkFREEdom

Staysha Hackmann
Survivor Leader, Sex Trafficking Intervention Coordinator
Community Works

Stephanie Anderson
Advisor, Consultant
Traffick Refuge, Salvation Army, LWM Reentry

Stephanie Stansberry

süna
disciple
Sun And Flowers Music Survivor Warrior Victim Advocate Volunteer Victim Advocate

Susan Munsey
Director of Programs
GenerateHope

Tam blaikie
Children social Care

Tami Reichert
Executive Director
Anchor of Hope

Tammy Bitanga
Peer Support Specialist, Advocate, Community Outreach Coordinator
Ho’ola Na Pua

Tanja Rahm
Member
SPACE International

Temple Woodrum
Church Laison
Lavished Ministries

Teresa Tally
Minister
RBI

Terry Forliti
Executive Director
Breaking Free

Theresa Flores
CEO
The SOAP Project- Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution

Tiffany Ducksworth
Crew member
Damascus Road

Tina Dixon

Tina Frundt
Executive Director
Courtneys House

Tina Kadolph
Survivor leader
501c3 President
Love Missions

Tracy
Advocate

Tracy Rowland
Lived experience expert

Trinity Schumann
Trinity Schumann Awareness Program

Trudee Able-Peterson
Survivor/Social Services Professional
Independent Consultant/Homeless Youth Services

Twana Lucas
Survivor

Ursel Hughes
Mentor

Vicki Daharsh
Voter/Taxpayer

Vicki Wooten

Victoria Hagstrom MD
President/CMO
anew Medspa.clinic

Wanda Fisher
Stop the Traffik (Elevatelife Church)5

Wendi Westmoreland

Wendy “Renee” Berry
Rebecca Bender- Elevate Academy student

Willow Kennedy
Survivor/ Founder
Sunray’s of Grace

* Disclaimer: An additional seven survivors expressed support for the letter, but wished for their names to remain private and confidential. (Subject to audit.)

World Without Exploitation

The movement to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation

World Without Exploitation

Written by

Creating a world where no one is bought, sold, or exploited.

World Without Exploitation

The movement to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation

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