Portland prides itself on an open attitude about personal choice. A dark side of the city's libertarian bent has been a long-thriving sex trade. Until last year, the city held the dubious honor of second place for juvenile sex trafficking arrests and numbers for those over 18 involved in prostitution remain high. Despite, growing awareness of the nature of sex trafficking, a broad misconception remains that prostitution is a matter of choice. Jeri Williams, a survivor of the trade, notes "in reality, most of these girls are forced into it, sometimes even sold into it by a parent.
This week, Jo Ann and Dave talk with Ann Singer and Rachel Cerise Indigo Baum of Lunacy Stageworks production, Stories: From Survivors of the Sex Trade. Part of the Fertile Ground Festival, "Stories" presents readings, autobiographical sort stories and interviews from sex trade survivors, providing audiences an unfiltered look at life in the trade. Singer is Lunacy Stageworks' artistic director and Baum is a survivor sharing her story in the production."Stories" is being presented Jan. 27-28 at the Sellwood Masonic Temple.
Jo Ann Hardesty is a former state legislator, former executive director of Oregon Action and past board president of Portland Community Media as well as a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a freelance journalist and former editor of The Portland Alliance who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, environmental, labor and peace movements for over 20 years
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