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Fri Aug 30, 2013, 01:30 PM

Native American Women Are Being Sold into the Sex Trade on Ships Along Lake Superior

http://m.vice.com/read/first-nations-women-are-being-sold-into-the-sex-trade-on-ships-along-lake-superior

Native women, children, and even babies are being trafficked in the sex trade on freighters crossing the Canada-US border on Lake Superior between Thunder Bay, Ontario, and Duluth, Minnesota.

Next month, Christine Stark—a student with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, who is completing her master’s degree in social work—will complete an examination of the sex trade in Minnesota, in which she compiles anecdotal, firsthand accounts of Native women, particularly from northern reservations, being trafficked across state, provincial, and international lines to be forced into servitude in the sex industry on both sides of the border.

Stark’s paper stems from a report she co-wrote, published by the Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition in Duluth in 2011, entitled, “The Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota.” Through the process of researching and writing this report, Stark kept hearing stories of trafficking in the harbors and on the freighters of Duluth and Thunder Bay. The numerous stories and the gradual realization that this was an issue decades, perhaps centuries, in the making, compelled Stark to delve further into what exactly was taking place.

She decided to conduct an exploratory study, “simply because we have these stories circulating and we wanted to gather information and begin to understand what has happened and what currently is happening around the trafficking of Native American and First Nations women on the ships” said Stark, in an interview with the CBC Radio show Superior Morning. “Hearing from so many Native women over generations talking about the ‘boat whores,’ prostitution on the ships or the ‘parties on the ships,’ this is something that… was really entrenched in the Native community and we wanted to collect more specific information about it.”

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Reply Native American Women Are Being Sold into the Sex Trade on Ships Along Lake Superior (Original post)
OmahaBlueDog Aug 2013 OP
DreamGypsy Aug 2013 #1
riverwalker Aug 2013 #2
OmahaBlueDog Aug 2013 #3
whttevrr Sep 2013 #4

Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 02:30 PM

1. A copy of The Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota

is available (pdf, 72 pages, 2.3MB) here: http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/pdfs/Garden_of_Truth_Final_Project_WEB.pdf

METHOD
We interviewed 105 Native women in prostitution for approximately 1.5 hours each, administering 4 questionnaires that asked about family history, sexual and physical violence throughout their lifetimes, homelessness, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and dissociation, use of available services such as domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, rape crisis centers, and substance abuse treatment. We asked the women about the extent to which they connected with their cultures, and if that helped them or not. We asked about racism and colonialism. The questionnaires were both quantitative and qualitative.



The summary findings of the interviews are very brutal:

FINDINGS
About half of the women met a conservative legal definition of sex trafficking which involves third-party control over the prostituting person by pimps or traffickers. Yet most (86%) interviewees felt that no women really know what they're getting into when they begin prostituting, and that there is deception and trickery involved.
• 79% of the women we interviewed had been sexually abused as children by an average of 4 perpetrators.
• More than two-thirds of the 105 women had family members who had attended boarding schools.
• 92% had been raped.
• 48% had been used by more than 200 sex buyers during their lifetimes. 16% had been used by at least 900 sex buyers.
• 84% had been physically assaulted in prostitution.
• 72% suffered traumatic brain injuries in prostitution
• 98% were currently or previously homeless.


<snip> there's more


In another article by Christine Stark (co-author and an interviewer for the study, those findings are brought to a very personal level.

"I’ve been raped my whole life. What else do you want to know?”

A trafficked Anishinaabe woman in her late 50s said this to me during an interview in Duluth. She was 4 the first time she was raped. As one of five women who interviewed 105 Native trafficked women in Minnesota for the report “Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota,” I hear her words reverberate in my mind.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 02:48 PM

2. this rips my heart out

we need to circulate this and shine the light on this horror. Should post in Minnesota forum as well.

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Response to riverwalker (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 03:43 PM

3. I have X-Posted to Minnesota

we need to circulate this and shine the light on this horror


Maybe I should X-post in GD?

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Original post)

Mon Sep 16, 2013, 11:23 AM

4. This is sadness personified.

Vanity Fair did a piece a while back on sex trafficking.

Sex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls Next Door
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2011/05/sex-trafficking-201105?currentPage=all

It is a heartbreaking story no matter who it happens to. The most troubling thing is that these young women are sometimes betrayed by the very people who should be protecting them. The degradation and betrayal is horrifying; and it is something that is done over and over so that the victims never know who to trust. It breaks the psyche into tiny compartments of pain. Life becomes a harrowing nightmare.

I wish I did not know that this is a real problem. It is heartbreaking.

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