Publicly active since 2003 in discussion on survival sex, sex work, and sex trafficking, M.Dante has been writing on the topic since the early 1990s, supporting programs and legislation essential to empowerment, community health and human rights. She was first exposed to the sex trade in 1986 at age 16.
M. Dante explains why she supports ESPLERP v Gascon: People like me who are defined as “victim/survivors and workers” have been left vulnerable and exposed as result of all the new efforts to “end demand”, along with newly implemented trafficking legislation, yet – as our discreet and safe channels of adult entertainment have been shut down, we have not been offered any services or support. Thanks to the dedication, inclusion, mentoring and support of The ESPLER Project, COYOTEri, USPROS Collective, CUSP and SWOP Behind Bars, since 2012 I have traveled thousands of miles across our nation, contributing to many academic and non-profit research projects and legislative efforts. However – We have truly had to beg and fight to our right to be equally included in the legislative, political and academic discussions. For those of us who have basically spent our entire adult lives in the industry we are fighting now for our 14th amendment right to have our sexual privacy back, along with our safe and discreet channels of work, and equal protection under the law.
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 ally. 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. This is why I support this precedent challenge.
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 social justice.