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Berkeley Grad Student Spoke Friday About her Experience as a Sex Slave Growing up in San Jose

Human trafficking is closer to home than you’d think. Minh Dang spoke on the topic last Friday at the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley.

Last Friday at the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley there was a talk about human trafficking. The program was called “the Slave Next Door--Making Justice Personal,” according to Examiner.com.

The speaker who “stole the show,” Examiner.com. said, was UC Berkeley doctoral student Minh Dang.

Dang said at the talk that she was “sex trafficked as a child for eight years by her parents,” according to Examiner.com.

While the government focuses on “the “3 P” strategy of prevention, prosecution, and protection,” Dang promoted a grander vision of “victim restoration based on the survivor’s long term potential,” Examiner.com reported.

Dang’s vision looks beyond convicting the perpetrator to helping on the victim “thrive rather than survive,” Examiner.com said.

Dang grew up in San Jose where “from the ages of 10 to 20” she was “sold into a sex trafficking ring in the San Jose area,” according to the Sonoma State Star.

In the 2010 video by NBC Bay Area, Dang talks about her father abusing her starting as a toddler. She says in the video that her “slave role was set in stone by a contract they made me write when I was eight.

Read more from Examiner.com:

Dang’s closing advice to the rapt audience was, “you must look inside yourself to find your personal experiences with dehumanization to develop the empathy that will sustain you to help victims and survivors.” To Dang, the work of restoration is as much if not more a matter of heart than policy.

[…She promoted learning] a “new song” with new lyrics that replace those of the “old song” she heard during commercial sexual exploitation. The words of that old song degraded, insulted, and demeaned--messages that prevailed during her years of abuse. Her lyrics of her new song are about freedom, hope, and love.

Wendy Hanson April 25, 2012 at 02:42 PM
What a devastating story. Minh Dang is an amazing survivor. I am awed by her courage. This awareness is painful but I hope it will help us as a community and for our teachers to be acutely aware of this issue.

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