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‘Surviving Sex Trafficking’ Trailer: New Film Documents Experience Of Women Survivors “Without Sugar-Coating The Harsh Reality”


By Matthew Carey
February 22, 2022

Almost five million people worldwide are currently victims of trafficking for “forced sexual exploitation,” according to the most recent statistics cited by the nonprofit Safe Horizon.

Few will escape or be rescued. Only 1 percent, in fact, says the new documentary Surviving Sex Trafficking, directed by Sadhvi Siddhali Shree (Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex-Trafficking). The film, which releases in theaters March 25 and on VOD on April 15, shares the harrowing experiences of women who managed to escape sexual servitude.

“I was targeted by my first trafficker when I was only 17 years old,” recalls one woman in the trailer for the film. “You can’t just exit that lifestyle. So, when I decided to leave him, that’s when he assaulted me and left me for dead.”

Another survivor recalls trying to escape her captor. “I go into my room, and he had nailed the windows shut.” She says another girl who tried to get away was forced into a dog cage. “[He] started beating her, and he said, ‘That’s what happens when you try to run.’”

The film documents the arduous process of recovery for survivors. One woman comments, “Nobody understands that struggle. They think once we’re rescued, we’re healed, that’s it, done.”

“It was important for us to make this film because we wanted to give a platform to survivors to freely share their pain and voice without sugar-coating the harsh reality they went through. Their pain is uncomfortable but needs to be heard,” Shree tells Deadline. “Their deepest desire as well as ours is to prevent someone from getting trafficked or inspire someone to get out of it – that’s the hope.”

Shree produced and directed Surviving Sex Trafficking. Sadhvi Anubhuti co-produced. Executive producers include actress Alyssa Milano, actress Jeannie Mai Jenkins, and rapper Jeezy. The film opens at the Laemmle Monica Film Center in Santa Monica on March 25, expanding after that to theaters in Vancouver, British Columbia (March 29), New Orleans (March 30), Coral Gables, Fla. (March 30), Dallas (April 11), and other cities.

“I believe we must turn to and give a voice to survivors to guide this sensitive issue of sex trafficking,” Shree says. “They are the ones with the real experience to suggest solutions to help victims who are currently enslaved, to prevent trafficking of the vulnerable, to advise on legislation, and to help those who are just coming out of the life – a journey of healing, a different kind of survival, which is quite challenging.”

Shree, a Jain monk, describes herself in narration for the film as someone who knows pain well, having experienced PTSD from her time as an army medic, and “repressed childhood trauma that came flooding back.”

“I always wanted to help others,” she says, “that had gone through similar anguish.”

Watch the trailer above.

Read the original article here.

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