Buzzfeed released a powerful video testimonial by Harmony Dust, a survivor of sexual abuse and the sex industry, and founder of Treasures Ministries (Treasures), a faith-based, survivor-led outreach and support group to women in the sex industry and victims of sex trafficking.
Harmony shares her story about how childhood sexual abuse and an abusive relationship led her into the strip club industry:
Powerful quotes from her video interview:
“The thing about the sex industry is that…most of us end up using a stage name, and with that creating an entire alter-identity that we can hide behind…[my stage name] was a compilation of other people’s fantasies, she wasn’t a real person, she was someone I could hide behind while I was working in the sex industry. And not only was my name fake, everything I told the customers was fake…the only people I had contact with were my abusive exploiter, other women in the club, and customers.”
“A lot of people think the sex industry is so glamorous and so empowering but it’s hard and I don’t think a lot of people don’t see the reality of what women working in the sex industry have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.”
“There were several occasions when a customer would sexually assault me…I felt so powerless…they would look at me…and basically, think that I was asking for it.”
“People don’t realize that 70% of sex trafficking victims are trafficked into the commercial sex industry, that means they are working in the strip clubs, they’re working on the porn sites, they’re working for escort agencies…we can’t turn a blind eye to that.”
“I hope people will see the humanity behind the woman on the other end of the dollar. And every image that you see of a woman in a strip club, in porn, is a real person with a real story.”