In order to commemorate Human Trafficking Awareness Day (January 11th) the Women’s Caucus held an event that both honored the survivors and helped to spread awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation industry. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito started off the event with an eloquent speech about the prevalence and outcomes of human trafficking in Massachusetts. She then presented the Director and Associate Director, Lisa Goldblatt Grace and Audrey Morrissey respectively, of My Life My Choice a certificate of achievement for their hard work towards advocating for survivors. My Life My Choice is a survivor-based organization based in the Greater Boston Area that provides a myriad of resources including: training workshops for health providers and law enforcement, prevention groups for at-risk girls, mentoring for younger survivors and advocacy training for the next generation of leaders.
After the speech from Lieutenant Governor Polito, the audience was able to hear from an actual survivor of human trafficking. Nicole spoke about her traumatic past of being addicted to drugs and being sexually exploited for money. Amazingly, she is now an advocate for human trafficking survivors and tells her story around the state in order to help spread awareness of this terrible industry.
The event ended with a presentation from My Life My Choice on their work in the Greater Boston area and their plans to expand to other parts of the state. They then answered questions from the audience on strategies to combat human trafficking and what is needed for survivors of the commercial sexual exploitation industry to not only survive their trauma, but to thrive.
Recent news related to human trafficking in Massachusetts: click here
By: Blair Usedom