In the effort to combat actual trafficking, we are all new to learning the best ways to meet each other at a shared point of understanding to work together.
Without YOUR voice working with us OUR voice simply is not heard.
Without OUR voice YOUR efforts are not authentic social / justice.
– M.Dante 2017 Philadelphia.
Misinformation about trafficking spreads quickly because data collection methods are inconsistent and not completely accurate. Polaris, the nonprofit organization that operates the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, has reported over twenty-two thousand cases since 2007. However, it mines its data solely from calls, emails, and web submissions. Most reports come from “community members” — not victims, their families, or caseworkers. “The Work in Sex Work” HENNESSY WILLIAMS for JACOBINMAG
In its 2015 Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights, the State Department affirmed the 2010 United Nations Recommendation #86, stating, “We agree that no one should face violence or discrimination in access to public services based on sexual orientation or their status as a person in prostitution,” and we call upon the States to do likewise. There are numerous instances of state laws and regulations that still discriminate against our community. (ESPLER Project Policy Agenda)
“Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind — even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say…” – Maggie Kuhn, Activist.
My motto: Community working together works! We work even better if funded and trained to take on the tasks at hand. We need mentors and new empowering opportunities.
2017 – 2020 Goals:
- Community and allies come together annually for D/17 where we share in acknowledging victims of sex work-specific violence and murder.
- Challenge the stigma that perpetuates barriers and prevents access to necessary support and medical services.
- Create community conversations to bridge divides and collaborate towards community-focused solutions.
- Connect with compassionate, concerned, and courageous congressional representatives, policy professionals, legal advocates; plus engage with creative and educational outreach projects supporting worker and survivor inclusion.
- Cultivate more mindful and effective inner community relationships. Sex workers and trade survivors can often sabotage each other as much as the barriers we face.
- Create newly shared revenue streams and micro-financing options, especially to assist with sustainable exit strategies.
So – Why? Why do I do this?
Yes! I want to change the world. My world. Maybe your world. Originally – back in 2003 when I completed my BA senior study – I wanted to contribute dialogue to “right the wrongs” I witnessed and experienced in the black market as a migrant sex worker.
Wait! What? Yes. In 2014 at the Anchorage, Alaska International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers in alliance with Community United for Safety & Protection (CUSP) and The ESPLER Project, I chose to publicly “Come Out Under The Red Umbrella”. Since then I have been participating in the public discourse on survival sex, sex work, and sex trafficking. Prior, however, in private academic and law enforcement circles, I had already been speaking on this topic for well over twenty years. Sex work and street-based economy are not new discussions, though maybe is to mainstream media and viewer. Maybe it is new to you?
For most of my adult life, I have expressed myself from the perspective of what I experientially knew. The streets. My writing, however, has only recently begun to be published, primarily in Philadelphia, in community anthologies, and in California. That is okay. It has just taken time for outsiders to catch up and become interested in the conversation: “Sex Work. Sex Trafficking. Street-Based Economies. Street Level and Sexual Lifestyles.”
Welcome to Pennsylvania Workers Survivors Clearinghouse: My name is M. Dante. I am federally defined as a former victim of U.S. domestic minor sex trafficking, a sex trade survivor, a consensual adult worker, and allie. I hope you find my perspective valid and of interest. I have found that though I am part of the population of vocal survivors, we have the weakest voice in our home states, and in Washington, D.C. In fact, we are often completely ignored.
In the effort to combat actual trafficking, we are all new to learning the best ways to meet each other at a shared point of understanding to work together. Without YOUR voice working with us OUR voice – as survivors – simply is not heard. Without OUR voice YOUR efforts are not authentic.
We are affected by laws and legislation in ways you do not consider. Include us in policy process even when our narratives differ from your expectation.
Our voice is here for you to hear.
In our own words and narratives as best as we can share.
“The way to right WRONGS is to shine the light of TRUTH upon them.”
Ida B. Wells, African American Journalist