Stories of Hope
I started drawing and painting in earnest when I was recovering from spinal surgery. I often portray colorful, supernatural figures that pulse with life energy and emotion. I am a survior of prostitution and a graduate of MMP. I have served as President and I'm currently on the Board of Directors. I used to talk about my story. Now, I prefer expressing myself through painting.
Janet is currently 28 years old and was trafficked throughout the US by a pimp from the age of 17. Janet suffered multiple traumas while being commercially sexually exploited, therefore the MMP Case Manager referred her to a therapist located in her neighborhood and Janet is now receiving free therapy one time a week to address the trauma. By coming to the support groups at MMP, Janet slowly worked towards exiting the life completely and has stated she feels great relief that she "does not have to do this anymore". Janet is currently attending a local Community College studying general education with the goal of transferring to a four year university in order to obtain a degree in Psychology. The MMP has also connected Janet to a community partner who is assisting her with gaining employment. During her exit interview, she stated “the groups were helpful and a safe place for me to come” and “the MMP is always here for me”. When asked what she learned from the program, she stated “I learned to listen”, “I learned to avoid people that are still working and not to be so self-centered”.
Annie is a 23 year old woman who was forced into commercial sexual exploitation by a pimp/trafficker who she thought was her boyfriend. Prior to her exploitation, Annie was in a Master's program at a local univeristy. Annie admits she was vulnerable for recruitment because she had led a sheltered life and when she went to school she was unaware of the tactics that pimps and traffickers use to lure young girls into commercial sexual exploitation.
During the course of the relationship with her “boyfriend”, Annie stated he romanced her and then forced her to have sex with others for money using violence and threats. After her escape from the man who was pimping/trafficking her, Annie reached out to the MMP to attend support groups. While connected with the MMP, Annie obtained employment, and the MMP Case Manager connected Annie with a therapist in her neighborhood and she now receives free therapy one time a week. Annie stated that she was very pleased with the program and she was happy to attend groups where she felt free to talk openly about what she went through while she was being sexually exploited. Annie plans on returning to Univeristy for her Master's degree in the near future.