News
THE SEX TRADE ►Prostitution ►Pornography ►Sex Trafficking TACKLING DEMAND RELATED ISSUES ►Rape ►Rape and War ►Sexual Denigration MEN SPEAKING OUT

USA: Demand Change project

Publish Date: 03 May 2011
Source: Fox 9 News
By: Dawn Stevens

Demand Change Project: A New Understanding of Sex Trafficking

MINNEAPOLIS - When Jill was 22-years-old, she got sucked into a world of prostitution.

She was abused and threatened by a man who sent her out of state to make money. When she came back to Minnesota, she lost her home and connections and spiraled deeper into a world of crime. She soon became a madam.
Finally, Jill went to jail for theft.

"Through incarceration I got treatment and got to see what I was doing with my lifestyle and seeing that it's not okay,” Jill said. “It's not okay to sell yourself or convince anyone else that that's okay."

But to get out, she needed help.

"Breaking Free helped me get back on my feet,” she said.

The organization provides food, housing, clothes and a path to a new future and for the first time there is a new focus.

"We really believe that men need to be part of the solution,” Heather Caillier with Breaking Free said. ”Right now men are seen as the biggest part of the problem, which is true, but we also know there are many good men out there."

In mid-May the first ever Demand Change Project will bring in advocates against sex trafficking from all over. A discussion with the public, law enforcement and lawmakers will hopefully lead to a new understanding.

"They need to be informed about the realities of the victims and what we're seeing on the ground,” Caillier said. “We're in the trenches."

Statistics show 80 percent of those involved want out, but don't know where to turn.

Caillier says if prostitution was legalized, victims would go up and age range would go down. So that weekend there will be a gathering of men at the capitol who will pledge to never victimize a woman.

"It's important that we unite as men and women against this issue or we have no hope of really decreasing the demand,” Caillier said.

Jill is also supporting this new push to rally men because Breaking Free helped her get a new job, new home and a new self image that she wants to give to other women trying to get off the streets.

"There are other things out there,” Jill said. “You're not garbage like people say."

For more information on the Demand Change Project on May 13th and 14th check out www.breakingfree.net


(c) 2011 Fox Television Stations, Inc.
http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/minnesota/demand-change-project-prostitution-may-3-2011