In 2013 the decision was taken to expand the group internationally, and to take on representatives from all corners of the globe. All of the representatives of SPACE International have lived experience of the sex trade, and many of them have extensive experience of front-line work in combatting prostitution and offering exit services to prostituted women and girls. All of its members are outspoken public abolitionist activists, pressing for the Abolitionist (Nordic) Model of prostitution legislation in their own regions of the world.
Cherie Jimenez, an activist and survivor, has devoted many years to political activism. She was first engaged in the feminist movement of the 1970’s prior to her complete descent into sexual exploitation and drug addiction. It was in 1976 that she co-founded one of the first domestic violence shelters in the US as a result of her own experiences as a teen mother. She was also one of the organizers of the Women Support Women March; one of the first marches and rallies in Boston addressing violence against women, held at City Hall plaza during the summer of 1976. She remembers, during this time, when prostitution was presented as a celebratory and legitimate form of work, soon realizing later on how it served to not only sustain women’s unequal status but masked the horrific harm and violence that is endemic to it.
Ms. Jimenez eventually exited prostitution in 1990, furthering her education and eventually acquiring a degree in Management from U Mass Boston, which provided the skills and a better foundation to return to social activism. She founded the EVA Center (Education, Vision and Advocacy), a specialized exit program for trafficked and prostituted women. Having survived the sex trade herself, Cherie knows first hand the inherent violence and harms of prostitution and the barriers to getting out. She has also worked to identify Boston’s most vulnerable population and how some of the failed policies and accelerated inequality in the US is contributing to a large domestic sex trade.
Since its inception in 2006, the EVA Center has expanded to include an emergency housing program designed and staffed primarily by survivors. The center also includes programs for leadership development in order to support organizing, creating awareness and understanding, joining alliances and networks locally and internationally to adopt Nordic type legislation to eventually end systems of prostitution and ensure access to opportunities for our most vulnerable populations. Ms. Jimenez is a board member of SPACE International and has spoken and presented at various conferences nationally and internationally and consulted on numerous projects and social justice initiatives.
Alika Kinan is a survivor of Human Trafficking by sexual exploitation and an abolitionist activist. She is a researcher of trafficking and exploitation of people to help improve the processes of analysis, formulation, development and application of legislation and public policies on the matter.
She has received recognition for her work in national and international circles, among these: The 2017 Heroes Against Modern Slavery Recognition, awarded by the United States Department of State during the International Encounter Against Trafficking in Persons, held at the Washington Capitol; The 2016 Recognition of Merit, awarded by the Deliberative Council of the city of Ushuaia; The 2015 Outstanding Woman of the Year award, granted by the National Senate of Argentina.
Among her main achievements is having won the first case, where the victim, after having been rescued from 16 years of sexual slavery, becomes a plaintiff to litigate against her pimps and a Municipal State that the Court of Federal Cassation considered an accomplice as a "ruffian and pimp."
She currently works in the Academic Secretariat of the National University of San Martín (UNSAM) directing the Program of Studies, Research and Training of Trafficking and Exploitation of Persons (PEFITE), of her own authorship and the first to have been created and coordinated by a survivor of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Promoter and reviewer of the first job quota, of state order, for women victims of sexual trafficking in Argentina, at the National University of Tierra del Fuego, being in that province where she was sexually treated and exploited, in which she has sustained work with victims of the crime.
President and CEO of the Alika Kinan Foundation, where legal and psychological assistance is provided for victims of trafficking and exploitation and research and training processes are developed and activities are carried out to make this problem visible. She is a senior member of the U.S. Parliamentary Intelligence Security Forum's Anti-Human Trafficking Subcommittee with the shared mission of combatting the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, human trafficking.
Alika Kinan is the mother of a large family and dedicates herself entirely to her work, activism and family, as she has found it to be the catalist for her process of recovery from the torture she suffered. Love, teach, accompany and help.
Bridget Perrier is a First Nations woman. Her spirit name is Wasaya Kwe, meaning Women of Light. Bridget was born to a Ojibaway woman who lovingly placed Bridget up for adoption so that she would have a better life, and so she was rasied in a large, loving, non-native family. When Bridget was 8 years old she was sexually abused by a family friend, the pain that she felt burdened her, and by 12 years old Bridget had been lured and debased into prostitution. She was bought and sold in brothels all over Canada.
At the age of 16 she became pregnant, to her joy gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who she named Tanner. At 9 months Tanner was diagnosed with Leukemia and bravely battled it for the next five years but through it Bridget remained on the streets and continued to struggle in and out of prostitution. Five years later Tanner tragically passed away from his cancer in Bridget’s arms, but Tanner made a death bed request: for his mom to straighten up her life and do good. Tanner’s death impacted Bridget so much that she started her healing journey and exited the sex industry completely.
Bridget found healing within Toronto’s First Nations community, eventually went back to school and got into George Brown college, where she graduated The Community Worker Program. Bridget also was a recipient of the YWCA Woman of Distinction Turning Point award in 2006.
Bridget as a First Nations woman has made it her mission to educate everyone about the real truths and stories that dispels the myths that Prostitution is a Choice. Bridget has gotten a second chance at motherhood and has been blessed with three beautiful daughters, and one special needs grandson, her daughters are active role models in the social justice movement. Recently Bridget accompanied her oldest daughter to the Missing Women’s Inquiry in Vancouver so that her daughter could speak about the loss of her Birth mother Brenda Wolfe. Bridget speaks from a First Nations perspective and feels that Prostitution truly effects and places Canada’s First Nations women in harms way and at risk.
Ne’cole Daniels is an expert in combatting sexual exploitation and addressing the root causes of trafficking within various marginalized communities. This has been her passion and work for the past 15 years.
As the co-founder of Innovations HTC Ne’cole is directly responsible for client service programs and the CSE Survivor Support and Empowerment Program. Innovations HTC provides training and technical assistance support to agencies/organizations that serve those who have been effected by commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. She also leads a team to develop curriculum and training content. I serve as a training facilitator and organizational PR contact.
She also is a co-founder of World without Exploitation and a representative of SPACE International. Ne’cole knows firsthand the personal impact of sexual exploitation and human trafficking, being a survivor of sexual exploitation herself, having spent nine years trapped in the sex trade through multi-generational familial trafficking.
Ne’cole is an anti-trafficking expert and skilled in creating system change through training, partnerships, advocacy and policy. This advocacy includes speaking at the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Plaza in New York and providing expert testimony at the British Parliament on the topic of racially marginalized women in prostitution. She also provided testimony that supported the passage of the Sexual Offences Act in the Republic of Ireland. In addition Ne’cole provides trainings to first responders, community providers, law enforcement and the Juvenile justice system.
Ms. Daniels has vast professional experience including working as the Director of programs for safe housing and supportive services for commercially sexually exploited minors. In this role Ne’cole managed a staff of twelve which included case management, mentor programs, and a drop-in center.
Ms. Daniels recently relocated to Washington State and is the proud mother of four children.
Tanja Rahm (born in 1977) was in prostitution for three years in different Danish brothels. After several attempts to get out of it, she finally managed to extricate herself from prostitution and drugs when she was 23 years old. Though suffering from anxiety, suicidal thoughts, depression and what was later recognized as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she still managed to educate as a therapist, sexologist and as a lecturer. Her book “A-Z Love and Sexuality” was published in Denmark in 2010. In 2014 she got a degree in social education at University Sjaelland.
Tanja wasn’t physically forced into prostitution. She didn’t have a pimp and used to say that her choice was made by her, and her alone. She actually knew, when she was 14 years old, that she would end up selling sex. After a long journey with intense therapy, and a few visits to psychiatric hospitals she discovered that her route into prostitution had been psychologically coerced because of a dysfunctional childhood with alcohol and violence, a youth littered with sexual assaults, a resulting low self-esteem and a lack of confidence in her surroundings. The first time she was sexually assaulted by a pedophile, she was 10 years old. When the pedophile was done assaulting her, he gave her money to shut her up, and the link between Tanja´s sexuality and the fact that she could use it to earn money, was made.
Tanja Rahm now teaches students about sexuality and boundaries and speaks loudly against prostitution and the glamourising of ‘sugar-dating', ‘escorting' and prostitution. She is a political activist and has spoken at hearings in Denmark and worldwide against prostitution. As a writer, she has written lots of articles about the negative efforts of prostitution and about the complex violence in prostitution. The most well-known article is the one she wrote to the buyers back in 2014 “For you who buy sex”, and was directly written to the johns to let them know how she felt about them and their actions. The letter was translated into more than eight languages and published in countries all around the world.
In 2014 she founded a community in Denmark for women who have been in prostitution and now recommend the Nordic model. The community now has a board and more than 50 members and are often referred to in the public debate and involved in the media when prostitution is a topic.
Vednita Carter is the Founder of Breaking Free, a non-profit organization based in St. Paul Minnesota in 1996, whose mission is to end all forms of prostitution and sex-trafficking. Ms. Carter is also an author, sought-after speaker, trainer and award-winning pioneer in the abolitionist movement. She has extensive experience in developing, planning, and implementing programs for sex trafficked women and girls and training law enforcement/FBI. She was awarded the prestigious Norma Hotaling Award for her life-long service to victims of sex trafficking.
She has traveled to many countries within Europe, South East Asia and South America to educate service providers and community members on Breaking Free’s pioneering work and to offer assistance in helping them to create similar programs. In 2014, Vednita was awarded the Path Breaker Award from Shared Hope International for her tireless efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex. She was named a CNN Hero for her work in ending sexual exploitation of women and girls in the United States, and attended President Obama's State of Union address as the guest of Representative Erik Paulsen.
In 2015 Vednita Carter graduated from the CICA International University and Seminary and received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity, Ambassador-at-Large and Chaplaincy. This school is the first and only full gospel organization with special status with the United Nations. In 2016 Ms. Carter received ‘The Life Time Achievement Award’ from President Obama for the outstanding work she has done over the last twenty-five years to end the sex trafficking of women and girls. Ms. Carter states that she has been called by God to bring education and knowledge about the harms of prostitution and sex-trafficking, in Minnesota, the Nation and Around the World – and to ultimately “set the captives free”.
Rachel Moran is the founding member of SPACE International and author of the bestselling ‘Paid For - My Journey Through Prostitution,’ regarded by legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon as “the best work by anyone on prostitution ever.” Her work has also been endorsed by Jane Fonda, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan and many others.
“Paid For” has been published in more than a dozen countries and numerous languages including German, Italian, Korean and French with a Spanish translation currently underway. Ms. Moran was prostituted for seven years in Dublin and across Ireland, beginning when she was 15 years old. Ms. Moran later completed her education and received a degree in Journalism from Dublin City University and a Masters in Creative Writing from University College Dublin. She first addressed a crowd in February of 2011, which gathered at the launch of the Turn Off The Red Light campaign urging Ireland to adopt the Nordic model.
As an abolitionist, Ms. Moran was instrumental in bringing the Abolitionist (Nordic) Model to Ireland in two separate processes on either side of the Irish border, and works centrally within the international survivors movement, which calls for the implementation of the Abolitionist Model worldwide. She has spoken at the United Nations, the European Parliament, Westminster Parliament and many other global institutions and prominent places of learning.
Jeanette Westbrook MSSW is a Social Worker and Human Rights Activist and Defender from Louisville, Kentucky USA. Jeanette is a survivor of Torture and Familial Trafficking and Prostitution. Jeanette is a Social Worker with over 27 years front line experience in working with traumatized clients including traumatized refugees from around the world, many who have experienced torture, the horrors of war, exploitation in prostitution, incest survivors, rape victims.
Ms. Westbrook is a member of Women Graduates USA -an affiliate of GWI and a supporter and advocate for US ratification for CEDAW and The Nordic Model and a supporter for the recognition of Non State Torture in the UNDHR. Ms. Westbrook has been guest lecturer at Indiana University Bloomington at The Dept. of Criminal Justice for over 14 years. She has been a presenter in over 30 United Nations panels in the area of Non State Actor Torture, Human Trafficking and Prostitution.
Mickey Meji (Nomonde Mihlali Meji) is a South African survivor of the sex trade and leading human and women’s rights activist and advocate in South Africa. Mickey has presented at both national and international conferences including the 5th South African AIDS Conference, as well as presenting the findings of her own research at the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA). She has experience in speaking and writing for traditional media and social media, representing an advocacy strategy to change legislation and behaviour in this aspect of human rights.
Mickey has sat as a representative on national, regional and international policy making bodies and spaces including the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board NGO Delegation (Africa Delegate) and the South African National AIDS Council SANAC (Sector Leader), has also represented and presented at national, regional and international conferences.
Mickey is passionate about the rights of women and girls in prostitution and strives to abolish prostitution in South Africa, Africa, and the world. She works with women and young people to raise an awareness on the dangers of prostitution in a bid to prevent others from experiencing what she has experienced.
It is this passion that has seen Mickey collaborating with other survivors in forming the first ever survivor movement in Africa, and the formation of her newly founded organisation Survivor Empowerment & Support Programme. She has a vision of a world where no woman or girl is bought, sold and exploited. Her values are Freedom, Justice & Equality.
Sabrinna Valisce experienced prohibition and full decriminalisation in New Zealand. She also experienced partial legalisation in Queensland and partial decriminalisation in Sydney, Australia. During this time she volunteered with the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) on and off for over two decades until she came to the conclusion that decriminalisation was unable to fix the problems in the sex trade.
Within the collective, Sabrinna struggled with the resistance she saw toward Exit Services and the acceptance of serious issues under the new full decriminalisation model. Issues that once would have been fought were barely being acknowledged. This prompted her to do her own research on the Nordic Model, which decriminalises people in prostitution while criminalising third party profiteers and punters. She slowly discovered that the views previously taught to her were a false narrative where abolitionists were presented as religiously motivated extremists rather than the truthful representation of them as activists, many of whom were sex trade survivors. She left the red umbrella’s and spent the next two years discovering for herself a far more nuanced understanding of the issue from independent sources. She began speaking online and meeting many people with strong views on all sides of the political divide.
Her first speaking engagement happened quite by accident when another speaker failed to show for 2016 World’s Oldest Oppression Conference in Melbourne. She went from audience member to speaker just fifteen minutes before the conference began. Here she met Rachel Moran and Julie Bindel. Since that meeting her activism took off and she found herself on the other side of the world speaking in the Westminster Parliament in London only three months later. Since then she has spoken in the Brisbane Parliament for the first Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation, International Women’s Day in Melbourne, for Radio New Zealand and Women’s Hour BBC in London amongst others.
She joined the strategy meetings for implementation of the Nordic Model in Victoria where she works alongside frontline services and organisations, MP’s, Police officers and researchers. She also joined the activist group Sister Survivor where women can write to journalists, media and politicians anonymously and can have input toward policies without having to go public. Sabrinna is one of their few public members and she gives voice to their concerns on their behalf. As of November 2017 Sabrinna will be joining the board of frontline service Herspace; a unique Trauma Informed service for women harmed by sexual exploitation.
Marian Hatcher has been with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) for 13 years where she is the Senior Project Manager for the Office of Public Policy as well as the Human Trafficking Coordinator. She coordinates several of CCSO’s anti-trafficking efforts such as the “National Johns Suppression Initiative,” a nationwide effort with approximately 100 arresting agencies and more than 200 law enforcement partners targeting the buyers of sex as the driving force of sex trafficking and prostitution.
Ms. Hatcher is a national expert on combating the demand for commercial sex. In addition to sitting on numerous boards, she has facilitated important training on trafficking and prostitution for various law enforcement groups including the F.B.I. and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She has traveled the country speaking at various events and conferences, shedding light on the prevalent issue of trafficking and telling her own story as a survivor of sex trafficking and domestic violence.
She is a recipient of numerous awards including DePaul University’s Helen F. McGillicuddy Award for her work in the Advancement of Women and Gender Rights and Shared Hope International’s Path Breaker Award, presented to individuals who have dedicated themselves to tackling the demand that drives domestic minor sex trafficking. Most recently, Ms. Hatcher was awarded the 2016 Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteer Service from President Obama.
Ms. Hatcher received her BS from Loyola University in 1985 concentrating on Finance. Her previous experiences include working at three major corporations. On August 2015, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity, Ambassador- At-Large and Chaplaincy from CICA International University & Seminary, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, (ECOSOC).
Julie Swede is the Interim Director of SPACE International. After a chaotic childhood, Julie became a runaway and was groomed into prostitution at the age of 15. She was then trafficked around the south and south west UK in brothels, massage parlours, private flats and as an escort. Julie got away from her pimp at 17, though he continued to terrorise her afterwards for years. Julie became addicted to heroin and was on the streets selling her body until she was 31.
Now a 47yr old mother of 2 sons, Julie uses her lived experience to speak nationally and internationally against the stigma and inequalities faced by women in prostitution. Julie works with an award winning project in Bristol called 'Bridging Gaps' that enables women with complex needs get better access to primary healthcare. She also volunteers with FiLiA as part of their WOMEN FIRST project - a feminist approach to an exiting project for women in prostitution. Julie is a claimant on the HOPE campaign - History Of Prostitution Expunged - with the Centre For Women's Justice fighting the 100 year retention of prostitution convictions.