Natasha From Russia

Disclaimer: It has disappointed me in recent years, just how much Victor Malarek appears to be against the whole idea of making sex-work safe and legal. At the very least, that’s how I read him. So when you read all of this, please keep in mind that I personally do not think the so-called ‘abolitionist’ stance is helpful. Very often, it puts sex workers in more danger.

Originally published here and here. It was written while I was still in college. Edited for typos and style. Earlier, I’ve forgotten to put up a major TRIGGER WARNING on this essay. Well, here it is now. PLEASE do not read this if you don’t think you can handle it. Neither should you read it if you are under 18. This essay concerns trafficking and assault. It is brutal and graphic, and even though I wrote it, I have trouble reading it myself.

Also, I have taken out some of the explicit parts of this essay. Others, I have left in. A few years ago, the shock-tactics seemed great. Now I don’t want perverts reading this stuff and getting off (considering the search terms that regularly lead them here). I also think that because it concerns women who were in this against their will, it is better to give them back that tiny bit of privacy. On the other hand, you want people to read this and be sickened and outraged. It’s a conundrum and I am struggling with it.

OK, you have been duly warned. Once again, please don’t continue reading if this is something you don’t think you can handle.

 

 

Natasha From Russia

When you’re privileged enough to attend a top-tier American university such as Duke, losing sight of the fact that your fate may have been different often comes with the package. Strutting to class in a pair of pricey high heels to hear well-paid professors talk and relaxing afterwards with a glass of pinot grigio at night, many girls at Duke and schools like Duke never entertain a serious thought about the less fortunate members of their sex, the ones who service twenty so-called clients a day on a dirty mattress in a room with bars on the windows. For some, it’s even acceptable to poke a little fun at the “‘whores,” especially the ones who are imported from foreign countires.

There are a number of “isms” I could direct at my fellow students for this : racism, classism, over-privileged-idiocy-ism, but I’ve grown to believe that in order for criticism to work, it must be constructive. I grew up with mummy and daddy who sent me to private school instead of a brothel; it would be hypocritical of me to act like some kind of self-righteous Mother Theresa out to instruct the less-informed members of her gender on how to combat the plight of trafficked women worldwide. The truth is, a few years ago trafficking in humans barely registered on my radar.

Therefore, I would like to extend my gratitude to all those members of Duke’s international community who, in the past, have branded me a “Russian whore” and told me, with much glee, about what women like me do back in their countries. Without your little jibes, whether uttered in jest or in a calculated attempt at humiliation, I might have never woken up. I would have never seen firsthand the kind of complacency that allows for human beings to be sold like cattle into this special service industry.

A shout-out also goes out to the boys, both American and otherwise, who never bothered to hide their fascination with the sexuality of Slavic women. Excited utterances about the sexual prowess of these women, their desirability and availability, the mail-order bride fantasy, the crudeness and the naked superiority complex – all of this served my conscience well. I’ve been shocked out of my shell, reminded of the fact that while I was growing up in a cozy little enclave in Charlotte, North Carolina my compatriots were being beaten into submission by meaty thugs and pawed by drooling clientele.

I was born in Kiev in 1984 and these women and I, the Ukrainians and the Russians in particular, speak the same language but have been awarded different fates. How close did I come, in those months preceding our departure from Ukraine ten years ago, to that other side? What if the mob had killed my parents, the owners of a small business targeted in racketeering schemes like many others those days? What if there was no money, no toilet paper, no gas or water or sliver of hope glimmering on Kiev’s horizon? Would I, a trusting and pampered child, have become one of them?

This question is impossible to answer, but my close proximity to this nightmare now serves to remind me that I have the responsibility of educating others about modern-day slavery. Governments are not particularly committed to curbing it; national interests lie elsewhere. The State Department today will have us believe, for example, that Russia is actually actively combating the horrendous treatment of its female citizens by thugs; do not trust the State Department. They have a vested interest in not pissing off Putin too much. Trust yourself when you read these lines, taken from a book by Canada’s Victor Malarek:

“They called us Natasha. They never asked our real name. To them, we were all Natashas.

We were their sexual fantasy…

… “Oh, Natasha! Natasha!” At first I thought it strange being called by another name. But very soon I came to accept it as my escape…” (p. xvi, The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade)

The above describes the experiences of a Ukrainian woman named Marika, who recounted her tale of being trafficked and sold into sexual slavery in Israel.

These are the experiences of Tanya, another Ukrainian, as recounted by Malarek:

“…Abandoned by her father at the age of four, she set out when she was twenty to find work to help her mother care for an invalid brother…According to La Strada [Kiev’s nongovernmental agency for assisting trafficked Ukrainian women, I have interviewed one of their associates], Tanya, who was described as ‘slim and pretty,’ was offered an incredible opportunity when a friend of her mother’s proposed a job abroad in 1998. The woman told Tanya that wealthy Arab families… were hiring maids. These jobs were allegedly paying up to $4000 a month. Tanya couldn’t believe her luck.

But when she arrived… she was taken to a brothel where a pimp told her that he had bought her for $7000. From that moment on she was to work as a prostitute until she paid off her so-called debt. After three months of captivity, Tanya managed to escape. She bolted to a police station and recounted her story. Incredibly, she was charged with prostitution and sentenced to three years in a desert prison. In 2001, psychologically crushed and ashamed, Tanya was released. Nothing happened to her pimp. Branded a prostitute… she was summarily deported back to her Ukraine.” (p. 12, the bolding is mine)

This is how these women are “trained” to gratify their clients, as recounted to Malarek by a Romanian woman named Sophia who was abducted at knifepoint, sold into slavery, and “broken in” in Serbia:

“All the time, very mean and ugly men came in and dragged girls into rooms. Sometimes they would rape girls in front of us. They yelled at them, ordering them to move… to pretend excitement… It was sickening.

Those who resisted were beaten. If they did not cooperate, they were locked in dark cellars with no food or water for three days. One girl refused to submit to anal sex, and that night the owner brought in five men. They held her on the floor and every one of them had anal sex on her in front of all of us. She screamed and screamed, and we all cried.

…I saw what they did to one girl who refused. She was from Ukraine. Very beautiful, very strong-willed. Two of the owners tried to force her to do things and she refused. They beat her, burned her with cigarettes all over her arms. Still she refused. The owners kept forcing themselves on her and she kept fighting back. They hit her with their fists. They kicked her over and over. Then she went unconscious.

She just lay there, and they still attacked her anally. When they finished, she didn’t move. She wasn’t breathing. There was no worry on the faces of the owners. They simply carried her out.”(pp. 33-34)

Malarek writes that when one of the other girls dared to ask about the Ukrainian, she was taken to a forest where she was forced to dig a grave next to a fresh mound that was probably the final resting place of the Ukrainian girl; “Ask any more questions and you will end up in the grave,” the man told her. (p. 34)

“On her third day of captivity, Sophia was ‘trained.’ She submitted without resistance. (pp.35) Sophia was eventually trafficked to Italy and put on the street. She escaped after three months with the help of a john and ended up in a Catholic rescue mission. (p. 35)

To his immense credit, Malarek also writes about the women who entered into such contracts willingly, believing that anything was better than the destitution they faced back home. This is what he has to say about them:

“Many of these women venture out with visions of the film ‘Pretty Woman’ dancing in their heads. They expect to rake in lots of fast money and in the process perhaps even meet Mr. Right. But those fantasies are shattered when, within moments of arriving at their destinatioons, they learn their true fate. Most end up in situations of incredible debt bondage, unable to earn enough to pay back the high interest on their travel and living expenses. They become victims of the wost possible forms of sexual exploitation. They are not free to leave, nor can they easily escape….All in all, no matter how ‘willing’ they were and regardlress of how they fell into the trafficking trap, the vast majority of these women end up as nothing more than slaves-abused, used, and traded. And when they’re no longer useful or when they’ve gotten too old or too sick and riddled with disease, they are simply discarded. Only then can they contemplate returning home. Countless others never do go home. Many die from the abuse and the diseases. Others give up and kill themselves.” (pp.18-19)

Did you know that orphanage directors often sell the children they’re entrusted to care for to these thugs? I’ve seen some underfed, neglected, abused orphans in both Russia and Ukraine, and I can easily believe it, seeing as nobody gives a damn about these children to begin with. Did you know that some actual parents are more than willing to do this to their own kids for some extra cash? The government, meanwhile, looks the other way. The governments of the countries these women get trafficked to are not much better; if they are caught in raids, most of these women are treated like criminals, humiliated, imprisoned, thrown out of the country, or, in some cases, even raped by law-enforcement officials who then go unpunished.

A childhood friend of mine, let’s call her Sveta, tells me the following as we sat in a bar overlooking Kiev’s historic Podol district. She has elected to speak in third person, her eyes are unblinking:

“These four thugs camped out on the stairwell in our building one day when little Sveta was coming home from school. They took her to the basement and took turns raping her. That year, a lot of girls were raped in the neighborhood and a lot more disappeared. There was continuous talk about these girls being sold overseas, but the little girl never believed it, until that day. There was a gang of them operating, ‘test-driving’ girls, sometimes for fun, sometimes for business. The police looked the other way, of course. Sometimes she wonders if she got off lightly.”

The rapists were never punished and the girls who vanished were never heard from again.

Memories of my grandmother come rushing back. I am nine years old and sitting on the carpet in her apartment, demanding to be let outside to play. Grandmother keeps refusing me, until she finally raises her voice:

“You’re not going anywhere alone, what if you are taken by a man? The man will sell you to pleasure other men, in the Middle East for example. You want that to happen to you? You’re staying home.”

My grandmother lives in the same neighborhood as Sveta.

I am nineteen, a sophomore at Duke, visiting relatives in Ukraine during winter break. My cousins and I go partying at a high-level club filled with beautiful young women. After a couple of beers, I am seized by the urge to pee. An elderly matron in a sparkling black sweater is washing her hands:

“I was watching you girls dance. I am scouting girls for my bordello. I am looking for some very classy girls. That’s a nice skirt. Some men like nubile young women…”

Her eyes, framed by enormous fake eyelashes, look cold and dead as they appraise me like a cow at a market. She finally leaves, and I stare into the bathroom mirror, looking for traces of “nubility” on my face. At the time, I think the situation humorous. Looking back on it now fills me with dread.

And let’s not forget the relish with which Ukrainian tabloids discuss the fates of trafficked women and prostitutes; every story is laden with gratuitous detail, the so-called journalists eroticize these women’s suffering, the physical abuse inflicted upon them by clients, and the violent death that waits for them at the finish line. Here is a rough translation of one of these “gems” I found a few years back:

“Olya’s pimp, the man who bought her and claimed her as property for her own protection, was playing a card game on a train with his friends. The bet was placed on Olya’s life, and she laughed along with everyone else at this ‘joke.’ The man who lost took Olya outside the compartment, she followed obediently. He threw her off the train. Someone stumbled upon her… the next day, glistening with morning dew…”

One night, in Charlotte, North Carolina, a casual acquaintance of my father appears at our door with a gun. He is looking for a young woman he brought back from Russia having met her through an “agency.” He’s mad as hell, because she has run away. My father manages to talk him down as they sit in the living room. The entire time, I am wondering what kind of loving husband would go looking for his wife with a Beretta in his hand. But I’m a child, I do not matter, and I ask nothing. My parents shoo me out of the living room.

I encourage every single person reading this to pick up a copy of Malarek’s The Natashas, a book to which I am greatly indebted because it has confirmed yet again everything I have already seen and heard about. Yet, unlike those people back in Ukraine and all over the world who are content to blame the problem of trafficking on “feminism” (ha!) and “loose morals among young women”, Malarek does not pass judgment. His writing is a small island of compassion in a sea of complacency and self-righteous condemnation.

Let’s tell the State Department that it needs to do a better job in placing responsibility on governments complicit in the sex-trade. While we’re at it, let’s also tell the feds to get off their moral high-horse and focus on women trafficked into the good ol’ US of A. And let us not forget that while some of us are enjoying our lives as students in prestigious universities, certain people are making billions off the backs of women who are much like us.

You see, in America, we are accustomed to believing that slavery no longer exists; the idea that slavery should thrive in a world of Starbucks, seemingly benevolent red-light districts in Western European cities, and general openness and civility seems almost absurd. Only that, of course, is the illusion that allows us to sleep at night.

115 thoughts on “Natasha From Russia

  1. Pingback: Natalia Antonova

  2. Спасибо. :)

    Я опубликовала статью, в старом виде, на одной англоязычной страничке. Русские и украинцы ей не заинтересовались, хотя у меня есть контакты в одной неправительственной орг (да и на организации по борьбе с продажей людей в Киеве которые мне очень помогли.

  3. Thank you very much for this article. I recently saw an enlightening documentary on the subject and you’re review of Malarek’s book makes me want to sit down and read it. Thanks again.

  4. Thank you for this, Natalia. I hope that many others will read this piece. I am definitely going to read _The Natashas_ now.

  5. Привет Natalia,

    Thank you very much for writing this up. It’s very important to remind people of all the injustices and horrors that are happening all around us. The first step to ending these nightmares is to let people know, to inform the general population.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. It looks like a comment I left last night was removed for some reason. I am not sure why, for all I was trying to do was thank you. Perhaps, it’s due to some technical issue. I will try again:

    Thank you for writing this up.

    Take care.

  7. Привет! Sorry, my comment moderation is enabled, so anyone who posts a comment for the first time has to be approved by moi. This protects me from spam.

    Спасибо за добрые слова!

  8. I see. I’m sorry about the confusion and repeated comments. One thing I’ve noticed, however, is that as soon as I’ve posted my second comment the first one appeared as well. So there might be a security flaw in your moderation system if the second comment enables the first one to become visible.

  9. Natasha-very good article. It is a shame but the rich and powerful will never do much about any of this. One, it doesn’t affect them. They are worried about paying as little in taxes and they can. Two, the people in the “elite” universities are more worried about fraternity and soriority parties.
    And my first hand knowdledge of the UN in the Balkans is that they are involved in it.
    And the US State Department? They just do uninformed dreamworld Power Point Presentations that say the world is such a wonderful place.
    I have my opinions of what should happen to these thugs (animals) but it is a more basic nuts and bolts approach.
    Helping the women rescued from this abuse is a daunting task.
    Good luck to you.

  10. Dear Natasha:

    I can’t believe people at DUKE told you such ignorant things! I attend the University of South Florida and happened to come across your article because it popped up when I typed in Google “The Natashas Malarek.” I am currently reading “The Natashas” since I am going a presentation for my International Studies degree specifically in the horrendous sexual slavery and trade of young women and girls. I agree that it is something that needs to be talked about more–and action has to be taken!

  11. Thank your for raising this burning question.

    When I read such things, I wish our rotten civilisation to extinct. I just can’t uderstand HOW can such things take place in our modern “civilized society”. What a damnation for the whole world! And nothing is really done to stop it!!! Nothing worth can’t be imagined…

  12. As a freshman at Duke, I happened upon your blog from MuslimWakeUp!’s website, where I was researching for a paper. Naturally, my procrastination urge made me want to look at your blog (I enjoyed the monkey video), and reading this essay was so moving/enlightening/shocking/disturbing (what word really is right here?) that I just had to comment. It’s good to know that there are women at Duke who care about global and feminist issues (I really only upperclasswomen at Shooters)-keep the blog going!

  13. Thanks, Sarah. Good luck with Duke. I used to go to Shooters a lot my freshman year, but that part of my life came to an end a while ago.

    In my junior & senior years, I preferred the Joyce. :)

  14. “In my junior & senior years, I preferred the Joyce. :)”

    And then you found better ground still :)

    Death to Joyce!

  15. Blasphemy! She only goes to the Federal because I’m not around.
    It’s a good thing you take that pub inferiority complex next door. It’s not welcome “where you don’t need to have a good time to drink!”

  16. Thank you for this, Natalia. I first became aware of this when Victor launched his book, The Natashas, in Vancouver, BC in Nov. 2003. The place (a Ukrainian Orthodox church hall) was packed and everyone was horrified, but trying to just raise awareness locally of human trafficking has been an exercise in futility. It’s just too complex, too ugly, and too far removed from our comfortable lives, which for many are easier lived in the past than in today’s reality. It’s encouraging that so many readers have responded so passionately to your post. I’ve added you to my blogroll. Keep up the good work.

  17. Pingback: Blog of Leonid Mamchenkov » On modern slavery

  18. Dyakuyu for writing this, Natalia. I second recommending Malarek’s book. I’ve read memoirs of horrible historical war, famine and injustice experiences, but “The Natashas” is the most disturbing book I’ve ever read.

    Siegfried Sassoon said that Wilfred Owen wrote such powerful poetry about the human waste of the First World War because Owen was gay, and reacted to the young men dead in No-Man’s Land the way most men might react to large numbers of young women dying violently. The sex slave trade, for me, is the Verdun or Somme of young women not lucky enough to live in affluent nations, or communities, but without even the comfort of thinking that their deaths are making the world safer or more decent, as people might think in wartime.

    I am an American of English lineage who has traveled in Eastern Europe, and met a number of wonderful, kind, life-loving women there. Their faces, voices, minds and hearts make the fates of their victimized countrywomen terribly personal to me. I do not fetishize Slavic women or any others, but I have read much about Eastern European history and culture since boyhood, and curiosity led to travel, and in turn to liking the people I met. Terrible shyness with women caused me to throw away heaven-sent opportunities for finding lasting love with a good woman. When I last visited Eastern Europe last year, the coldness of local women was obvious, no doubt due to increasing knowledge of, and the collective social effects of, the slave trade. The numerous, smiling, happy women of 2004 dwindled to a noticeably dwindling population of frowning women who apparently viewed most men as potential abusers, not as warm-hearted suitors. I can’t help feeling sad thinking about where the women I met are now. Did their openness in talking with me get them into more dangerous situations?

    Foreigners who read about or visit the old Soviet republics quickly notice the pride in resisting foreign invaders like Napoleon and Hitler, but the “Natasha” trade is one where locals and foreigners collude to destroy large numbers of local women. If kidnapping is common in procuring new victims, then information campaigns like Ruslana’s video are of limited utility. With violence the hallmark of the trade at all levels, only violence will cure it short of the extermination of the young female population. I don’t think that most mobsters would pursue the trade if they thought they’d have to take the risks the victims do.

    With so many Eastern European families having lost daughters, wives, sisters, etc., and with so many other females at risk, isn’t it time for latter-day Partisans to “zachistka” the fat, middle-aged women who act as bogus “employment agents” (usually not as open as the one in your nightclub bathroom story, Natalia), the fake “modeling agency” people, the thugs like the ones in ‘Sveta’s story, known to be abusing women, the cops, judges, politicians known to be crooked, foreign johns frequenting places known to be locations where sex slaves are held…..

    If I’d married one of the women I’d met and she later disappeared, I’d make killing those vermin, and organizing those who thought like me, my life’s work. The Eastern European states need their own “insurgent movements”: ones not devoted to power-seizing and chaos as in Iraq, but asserting public control of life, freedom and dignity against vested interests which will lose their power to seize more victims as fear of community retaliation increases. My power as an American to effect this is minimal; a revolution isn’t much if there’s a Lafayette, but no George Washington, so to speak. I can think globally, but locals MUST act locally, or demographically the national anthem’s opening line of “Ukraine is not yet dead” will in a hundred years or less have become a lie, with no-one left to sing it. This will also be true in every state in the European former Soviet republics, and in other Eastern European states as well.

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  20. Hi! Thank you for this article. It is a relief to see that people still care of other people.I have just finished Victor Malarek’s book of Natashas and been really shocked of the way people are treating victims in sex industry. It is very vicious and faceless to sacrify a human life for money. And in any land’s government and “customers” as well are shockinly involved in it. Let’s keep the hope up.

  21. it’s that it’s not “removed from our lives” as another poster commented- that is what is so shocking, that people don’t articulate it, that by silence, it won’t be invited into our personal realities.
    I think every body’s dignity is fragile.
    When you live in a state of traffick, dignity and autonomy and anything that connects with “free choice” is removed.
    There’s a lot of hatred that is acted out upon girls.
    And just b/c someone is smiling doesn’t mean they are happy.
    The other thing is, in a world where girls don’t walk this Earth on their own 2 feet and it’s normal to many, what are the alternatives?
    What people respond to, is often a shortterm trap that will not let their future be longterm – the future is discounted.

  22. ***The other thing is, in a world where girls don’t walk this Earth on their own 2 feet and it’s normal to many, what are the alternatives?***

    Hmmm… I’m not exactly sure what you mean by this (rhetorical?) question. The only thing I could think of was foot-binding in Chinese history, but something tells me that’s not what you’re talking about.

  23. Hello, I wanted to thank you for this article. This subject sadens me greatly. I feel pain in my heart for these women who have been abused. I have known many women from Ukraine over the years. I have even traveled to Ukraine. While there I had witnessed the desperate situation that many of these women live in. There is however a little more education about the trafficking of women, and some women that I talked to have become more cautious about it. It really sickens me to thing that there is people out here in the world that could use these women in such a terrible way. I just happend upon this blog today, but the subject of it is something that I have been concerned with for a long time now. I have a very dear friend and her name is Natalia. In closing I wish that we all could band together and do something to help end this problem and protect these women. Thank you again Natalia for writing this.

  24. Did you see the film Lilya 4-Ever ? This is why I made this web page. So it might give some insight into this world. The film just left me shaking inside and out. How do people justify this kind of behavior ? It makes me so mad.

  25. Pingback: Mideast Youth - Thinking Ahead » Blog Archive » Human trafficking from Armenia to Dubai, UAE

  26. Dear Natalia,

    Privet. Thank you for your powerful and eloquent article…and I’m deeply saddened that it’s fact, instead of fiction.

    I’m just getting involved in fighting human trafficking, and persuading friends to use their fundraising talents to help out as well. Are there any anti-slavery groups you regard as being truly effective?

    All the best,
    Hugh

  27. Wow. Ouch. I just came over from that e-mail list and…

    This stuff is so overwhelming, because TONS of people know that it’s happening and none of them seem to care. That’s the thing – this phenomenon isn’t that unknown, not really, and yet somehow people manage to distance themselves emotionally and it gets swept under the carpet. Part of it is simply having no idea what to do…what can any of us do when UN officers are taking part? When British and American army contractors are buying little girls in the Balkans?

    I have a dear friend who grew up in St Petersberg, and there have been many times over the past few years that I’ve been incredibly grateful that she, at least, was too old to be directly affected by any of this – by the time it really got underway she was safely in America. But what to do about the girls that remain behind?

  28. I was assigned by my Russian Literature teacher to pick a topic that meant something to me. This article has truly touched me and i hope reading a paper revealing the truth about women that are tortured in front of 200 people will help your mission of awareness. Maybe if more people know whats going on this can be stopped. The accounts you recorded are horrible, but they are what is necessary to get more people involved. Thank you for having the courage and strength to report the REAL story. I will never forget it.

  29. Thanks for your comment, Danielle. I wrote this one in a fit of solid, steady, unending rage – and it is pretty graphic and revolting in places – but I’m glad that people like you are reading. It means a lot.

  30. I cried as i read this

    I suffered something like Sveta’s

    I was poor and Latina so no one cared

    I hated myself for surviving for a long time

    I am glad you keep up the fight when no one else will

  31. Thank you for the online hugs – i send you ones as well

    I wish i could talk to you off-blog as a private space in email might help me futher

    Again, thank you for standing up when no-one else will.

    “Even in the darkness, there is light”

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  34. Natalia,

    Your review and the author’s work are very moving. I do not understand our need as a race to brutalize others. As a father, I could only imagine the pain of a child or young woman abducted into this living hell.

  35. Thanks, Lee.

    I really like Malarek (his book’s language sometimes rubbed me the wrong way, but he did take things straight to the source – and contacted La Strada in Kyiv, which is a great organization), so I’m kinda sad to see him hanging out with Melissa Farley as of late.

    I think he is much more clear-headed and even-handed than she is. Or that’s my current impression, at the very least.

  36. Hello! I’m a junior in high school and we were doing projects and my topic was human trafficking. I was unable to find many books on it but when i found The Natashas (which happens to be my middle name) I was amazed. I couldn’t reading the book. Although I’m young, the fact that slavery still exists in a different is crazy. This has opened my eyes to the fact that everyone isn’t blessed and no matter what you are going through, someone always has it worse. Anyway, great paper and I hope more people are made aware of the existence of human trafficking.

  37. I am writing the third teatment, ( film storyline for future movie), on illegal trafficking of human organs, trafficking and sexual tourism. These latter businesses seem to have grown exponentially. I would like to know if the current status in the world of trafficking and illegal organ abductions is still at the same levels as when malarek(my bible) wrote his book. it would be neat if I could hook up with Natalia Antonova. maybe she could act as a consultant for the movie I am working on. cell
    {number taken out for privacy reasons – Natalia}

    thanx, David Kramer

  38. Hi David, I presently live in the Middle East, and am a busy gal, so I’m not sure if I can help you with hard data.

    If you do need, like, anecdotal stuff to round out your research, we can always talk about that.

    I would definitely suggest that you speak to folks at Interpol, btw.

  39. hi my name is ali and i dont know wht is this but i just reaeded some of all this thnigs up and am from libyan in north africa am 20 yrs old and as u said u r busy girl so where u live exactly and wht is ur job

    best rgds ….

    bye

  40. Hi
    I know this is going to be an odd question and completely left field but is Antonova a common last name in Russia? I only ask because my father passed away and I was never able to find out much on our history. Recently I was told that my grandfather may have come from Russia and not Lithuania. Sorry to bother you and thank you for your time

    Blksky13@aol.com

  41. Yes, Antonov/Antonova is a pretty common last name. You know the old USSR Antonov planes (named after designer Oleg Antonov)? ;) They’re actually making new ones, these days.

    It’s a Russian last name, but many Ukrainians also have it these days.

    I couldn’t tell you if your granddad was from Russia. He may have been ethnically Russian, but living in Lithuania.

  42. The first time I was made aware of this was when I watched a life-time movie… Unbelievable the evil that lives inside some people. I can’t know for sure but I feel like I probably met one of those awful people when my daughter was in hollywood going to school…. Just a feeling but an icky one! I think a world without testosterone might be a good one.

  43. I don’t think testosterone is to blame, I think human nature is. But I do think that we take the gift that is testosterone (speaking as a woman who likes to experience it’s, mmmmm, better side) and turn it into a curse. Repeatedly.

    I also have met people who have made me suspicious in regards to their involvement in this “business” (and that’s what it is, to them, as profitable and simply as running guns or drugs). I am sorry to say I once met a politician who seemed involved. Without any conclusive proof, I couldn’t name the name or given an accusation, and he was too slippery and well-connected to really be able to figure things out for myself. And I was scared of him, to be perfectly honest. I was a coward.

    I will always wonder, though.

  44. I can relate to that! Being a coward! I give you credit for using your real name! I keep trying to hide mine! I wrote a report on a certain religious group and it scared me to death! I put anonymous on my paper when I turned it in.. Without mentioning their name ( the religious group) I would like to ask you this, because I’m interested your response..When I watch movies about the holocaust it sickens me, but they way in which it was done makes me wonder what could have been done to stop it? I don’t know if enough people would even be aware of the systematic way in which they can be led to slaughter to even realize what was happening to them. If they did what could, or would, your average person do to stop it? The only answer I can come up with is to fight back. I remember this one teacher I had in grade school telling us that tests have been done that show… the way people respond to perceived authority indicates that something similar could easily happen again. Another thing I remember as a kid is being scared of Russia and it has been so nice to not hear about conflicts between the U.S. and Russia. Now I’m hearing threats of nuclear weapons…Maybe we should just capture all the scientists and hold them hostage until they dismantle all the nuclear weapons…How many can there be? :)

  45. I honestly don’t know the answers to these questions. The Holocaust represented a triumph of barbarism on such an epic scale that it’s hard to formulate an opinion as to what would or wouldn’t have helped. But certainly there were heroic deeds of resistance, as there always are, in such times.

    Will there be another Holocaust? Well, take a look at Rwanda. This sort of thing happens over and over again, sometimes on a smaller scale, sometimes on a bigger one.

    I guess what makes the Holocaust truly “special” is all the machinery involved, the organization, the seemingly detached philosophy. There’s something so calm and calculating about the process that makes it even more frightening.

  46. Hi.I am impresssed with your writing and thoughts. I look forward to reading more of your publications. wishing you all the best in your travels. I hope you find what your looking for on your way to Alpha. :)

  47. Your story indicts alot of govt’s and alot of countries but the only people you actually identify in your story specifically are all other Russians and Ukranians. It’s simply another classic group of tragic stories about russians victimizing other russians. The only example of an american man being at fault was the acquantance of your fathers with the beretta. Let me hit you with some sad statistics regarding some of the girls choose to steal the money they covet so much instead of trying to earn it like some of the unfortunate girls in your story. Those girls are prostitutes of a different level. They feign life long love and devotion to anyone they think will take them away from their lives and make her his queen in some other country.. When those girls swear forever at their wedding they don’t mean any of it…they commit fraud in the inducement to marriage then once theyare in the USA for example they go to websites like “www.russianwomenabroad.com” where they educate themselves in the “just for us girls” russian only forums on how to rid themselves of their now (or soon to be) “unnecesary husbands. Most part time short timer wives use the 2-3 yrs it takes to be in the clear immigration wise to either get or upgrade ther education … some in better situations where the husband they are defrauding is actually a nice guy or is nice to them will stay married to him until they graduate and get their degrees …one girl I know of specifically …lets call her Irina …her 30 yrs older husband paid everythig for her to get her Bachelors degree (4 yrs) then he paid for everything for her to get her law degree (3-4 yrs more) then about 4 months b4 she graduated from law school she started buying all new furniture (with his credit cars etc.) and storing it in or garage where it sat until one week after she got her law degree at which point she left him …by moving out while he was at work and leaving him a note … saying she was unhappy … needed time to think etc… 2 weeks after that she got happier becaue thats when her boyfriend that she had been cheating on her husband with moved in with her. I know dozens of american men who went to find love and a bride in Russia and not one of them are still married …NOT 1! Girls who aren’t as patient as Irina was find out on these websites how to get their green card in only a few short months…all they have to do is lie and claim they have been abused by their hsbnds. RWA website actually provides russian girls with a script of what to say to the police and when to cry and look as afraid as possible… they learn how 2 have their honest hardworking husband removed from his house and put in jail while she steals what she can and then dissappears into the Abused Wives industry who gives them money …a quick green card …victim status… a new name and or SSN all at the expense of her husbands good name … really classy stuff … at least some of the prostitutes in your story start off by choosing to earn their money and I have alot more respect for them than those who decide to simply steal it or who choose to steal it quickly and ruin a mans life in the process. I have zero patience with anyone who tries to enslave another or who pimps and panders others for a living …and worse…they should be castrated … but before you cry too many tears for the poor russian women the number of women you aretalking about is nothing compared to the number of fraud committing theives who lie cheat and steal walking all over anyone who tries to get in their way ruining lives as it suits their own selfish needs and agendas…far more lives are ruined by unscrupulous russian girls than there have ever been russian girls ‘s lives ruined by the sex slave industry …. far far more. not to minimalize those girls or their personal tragedies …just trying to put things into focus

  48. Pingback: Sweet Jesus! WHAT ABOUT THE MEN??? « Natalia Antonova

  49. Rogerisright wrote: “I know dozens of american men who went to find love and a bride in Russia and not one of them are still married …NOT 1! ”

    Well, duh! What you are describing isn’t a search for love, it is a search for the devotion of a slave to her master. To expect those slaves to be forever grateful to their buyers because of a marriage certificate and a US address is stupid.

  50. Roger posted this exact same screed at my blog, so I’ll cross post my answer here;

    Roger
    I don’t even know what to say about all of this. First off, are you seriously comparing guys who get taken in by women (assuming we could even describe the situation that way) to victims of sexual trafficking? And honestly, what do guys who buy mail order brides expect? They went looking for attractive, subservient women who would be dependent on them, not equals or soulmates or anything. If a girl plays them, that just seems like par for the course.

  51. Roger

    I am sorry that you feel defrauded. But love can neither be bought nor sold. Sex can – and I assume it was – for eight years, otherwise you would have regaled us with that little bit of treachery. These men you speak about go in their western, masculine, wealthy, arrogance to a foreign country where bright and ambitious women do not have the same opportunities as in their own, thinking that any woman should be eternally grateful to them for taking her to their country and their bed. Then they whine because their money and whatever ageing charms they may have lose their appeal and the women leave them for someone nearer their own age.

    It is about time such men grew up and realised that women are people not property to be bought. By buying into the racist nonsense of “exotic” mail order brides you introduced the commercial aspect – now the women are looking for a better deal. Simple.

  52. It has been a very long time since a piece of writing has left me cold. This certainly touched a nerve. The subject matter remains as one which no one wants to think about, nor take responsibilty for. There are simply no words to describe how I feel about human nature at times.

    Thankyou for sharing this,.

    Lola x

  53. @Rogeriswrong –

    If some entitled prat with a Prince Charming complex bought me on the internet, I’d steal his credit cards too.

  54. Hello Natalia,
    I just happened to read this story and was very disturbed. Yes, it is a cruel world. There are over 20.000 Natashias serving here in the red light districts of Amsterdam and other cities and the Dutch Government turns a blind eye. Hardly ever you hear of a girl being rescued, but regurarly bodies of unknown women are dragged out of the canals, no doubt Natashas of which the sell-by-date has expired.
    I’ll try to find the book and read it.
    Thanks for all your good deeds,
    Luis

  55. Thanks Luis! Some of the people I’ve talked in the Ukrainian anti-trafficking effort had some good things to say about their counterparts in Amsterdam. Obviously, not enough is yet being done, but don’t give up now. I won’t.

  56. Pingback: An Important Event for Feminism: Renegade Evolution & Top Feminist Blogs « Natalia Antonova

  57. Words escape me after I read this essay. I am terribly sorry to hear that about your friend and I am so glad and fortunate that my family was never in a situation for these things to happen. I too am writing an essay on this topic in the hope that someone else will read it besides my professor and get it more publicized and make the Canadian public more aware.

  58. HEY AFTER READING THIS EXCERPT OF THE NATASHAS I HAVE GONE OUT AND BOUGHT THIS BOOK IS HORRIBLE WHAT THEY DO TO THIS WOMEN. I AM CURRENTLY WRITING A PAPER ON WOMEN RIGHTS IN RUSSIA DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS OF WHERE ELSE I CAN GO TO FIND USEFUL INFORMATION THANKS

  59. Gabby, I haven’t read Kara’s “Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery” but I hear it’s a good new book on the subject.

    Of course, Kara is an abolitionist in regards to the sex business in general (something I don’t personally support, for various reasons), but regardless of my own disagreements with that stance, I’m sure you would find his work an informative read.

  60. Hey Natalia,

    thanks for the great article-gave me lots inspiration for an MA thesis on sex trafficking and the ways western perceptions (read stereotypes) of Eastern European women influence policy-makers.

    if you are non-abolitionist, check out the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women website

    http://www.gaatw.org/

  61. this is one thing you should spread around,you know what i believe?it’s enough for Russians to be pure and honest,they just believe to much to easy…

    you should have this accessible by the public that is in danger,by the women who might believe those lies…

    but again bravo!

  62. I came upon your site while searching for information on a woman named Natasha. A few years ago at my parents house i saw a program on Russian TV about a young woman who married a man form the US. The man was over 20 years her senior, fat and unattractive. She was young, beautiful, educated and played the piano beautifully. Her mother pushed her to marry the man as she thought Natasha would have a better life. Long story short the man took an insurance policy on her life and soon after killed her. Thank you for posting this information, there are so many things going on such as sexual slavery and mail order bride tragedies, it’s time people became informed. Thank you also for the book recommendation, i will buy it tomorrow. Also, if you haven’t read it yet, read “The Road of Los Innocence” by Somaly Mam. It’s one woman’s recollection of life as a sex slave in Cambodia. Thanks again.

  63. Nat: Before I begin I’d like to point out that I’m blogging under a different name to protect my identity from trolls like rogerisaf**kingidiot. I WOULD like you to know who I am, though. Please cross reference my email address against previous posts “autumnal Kiev” and “dumb bimbo meme”, and please don’t feel pressured to answer my questions quickly. I chose this post because it’s older and I’m hoping the trolls are bored with it. If you can’t get back to me for another week or two, I’m ok with that.

    This is the post I was looking for, to address questions about possible safety risks when considering a job placement abroad. In my last blog I was trying to “mind my manners”, though as an anthropology student and a member of the most “expendable” strata of the G8 nation I call home, I am very familiar with the deplorable treatment of Slav, Muslim and Latina women in the so-called “first world”. I’ve worked several hotel maid, waitress, and call centre jobs where my co-workers were mostly refugees. I still wonder about an obviously traumatized Croatian lady I used to work with, whether she was able to recover her ability to function in certain situations without screaming. How tragic that these women are counted as “the lucky ones” who can make an “honest” living scrubbing toilets and scream themselves to sleep every night!

    I’m not worried about getting trafficked, because I’ve outlived any male flattery beyond the words “handsome” and “where does your husband work?” (read: I’m too old to be sexy and therefore only useful as a stepping stone up the corporate ladder). Besides, I tried my luck at 2 massage parlours and one strip bar after the student loans GESTAPO put me in a similar position to Will Smith’s character in “Pursuit of Happyness”. The answer all around was NOT HIRING. Should I be grateful or doubly ashamed? Make that triple for having to send my kids to live with their aunt while I sleep in public parks and beg to feed myself. Try reading Kafka or writing anything with an incontinent schizophrenic babbling in your ear as a “welcome to our homeless shelter” pitch. I’ll find a bus to sleep on, thank you. And screw the academics who don’t take me seriously as a student because I admitted to being homeless! You’re right about the way the privileged approach tragedy.

    At least I live in a time& place where my circumstances won’t be permanent, and once I get back on my feet, I’d really like to travel. Is there a great deal of violence toward foreign women in Moscow, Kiev and St. Petersburg? And is there a strong likelihood that I’ll have to make the gut-wrenching decision to either avert my eyes and pretend I’m drunk, or get beat half to death for what I’ve just witnessed?

    I’m sorry if that sounds callous. I’ve been working on these 4 stupid little paragraphs for over an hour, and I still sound like an ignorant missionary tourist. It just sounds like there’s a demand for English teachers where you are, and as much as my own experiences with education have been anything but empowering, I still like to hang on to the “teach someone to fish” adage. Better that than bulls**t sermonizing about tougher laws on immigration and prostitution.

    So, would learning some more Russian and earning s**t money to teach 20, 40, or even 200 more people to speak English make a rat’s ass worth of difference in this world? And is there a moderate to strong likelihood that I’ll get my legs and I don’t even want to know what else broken for even considering it?

    I’ve just always been of the mindset that we accomplish more “good” (and we prevent unintentional harm) by reaching out to a handful of people at a time, hand to hand and face to face. That’s not cheesy feel-good western delusion, is it?

  64. BTW, You might want to delete that Jan 24 08 blog with your personal info. There are 3 f**king s**t !##hole f**king creep trolls on this site that might want to interrupt Marta’s online hugs. I won’t stand for that.

    Just thought I’d let you know. Tell Marta I’m sorry that all I can offer her are warm wishes that she’ll stay safe and strong.

  65. Mmmkay. I thought about what you wrote here, and here’s what I have to say:

    This post, ‘Natasha from Russia,’ deals with harrowing subject matter, but if you read this blog on a regular basis, and read my entries about Ukraine, you’ll see that daily life here is pretty unremarkable, as it is in most places.

    You seem to have the impression that urban centers like Kiev and Moscow are post-apocalyptic wastelands where one can’t step out for a pack of cigarettes without being raped and killed by marauding, Kalashnikovs-toting barbarians with vodka on their breath. This impression is incorrect.

    I’m not altogether qualified to speak about compensation for English lessons here, but with the information available to me, I don’t believe that persons fluent in English are at the bottom of the ladder as far as the job market is concerned. Look at it this way – I’m a person who’s fluent in English, and regularly get good offers.

    You bring up these intense images – pretending to be drunk, getting your legs broken – and I’m not really sure what to make of them. I don’t like going armchair psych on people I haven’t met, but it looks like you’re dealing with some personal problems that you are projecting onto other things.

    In short, I don’t believe you’re suffering from a cheesy, feel-good western delusion. You appear to be suffering from a severe feel-bad delusion, that’s not so much “western” as it is deeply personal.

    I think that before you reach out to anyone, you should reach out to yourself.

    Best of luck.

  66. That’s a little harsh, Nat. I’m just trying to clarify some horror stories I’ve heard, for safety’s sake, and trying not to come off as racist in the attempt. I only offered the personal details as an attempt to prove that if I were about money I could have finished my accounting dip and been making 6 digits by now. I chose to study anthropology and had poverty forced on me because I wanted to feel like my professional contributions are doing more than just feeding some corporate machine.
    Pardon my on-line self-deprecation. It was meant to lessen the impact of questions that I guessed would be considered rude across any cultural boundary. That type of talk has a very different effect for me in face-to-face communications, probably because I can rely on posture&tone of voice to alleviate misunderstandings.

    The key question here was what is the likelihood? Thank you for answering it. I’ve scratched South Korea and Mexico off my list of options, but most of the places in Eastern Europe still sound ok. I’ll make my final decision based on cost-of-living research that I’ll carry out closer to my actual travel date.

    I appreciate the response, and that it came so quickly, but I have to ask one last question before I go back to my old blog name:
    Your sudden inability to differentiate between questions of increasing a person’s paycheck with English lessons as opposed to increasing his or her overall satisfaction with life in general with said lessons is a little uncharacteristic for your philosopher side.
    Your Freudian response to your perception of my emotional state is not completely implausible, but is also uncharacteristic for your feminist side. What’s up with that?

  67. Never worked in Ukraine, but I have worked in St. Petersburg. My sister used to work in Moscow, and didn’t live in the nicest neighborhoods. I sent her a link to your questions to see if she was as weirded out by them as I am. She was.

    If you didn’t want to come off as racist, you failed. You look like you got yourself a messiah complex. You want people like Natasha to say, “you’re so generous, Blondie, for giving up on a 6 figure salary and wanting to come save poor people in Slavic countries.” The response to you wasn’t harsh, it was overly polite.

    I call it as I see it.

    (Natasha – sorry, kid, if I’m out of line. Be good.)

  68. Point taken, Hank. In the future, if I hear “horror stories” that make me question how “safe” and how morally “valid” a potential employment path might be, I’ll reach an informed decision by reading about the experiences of the people that live where I might be going with my mouth shut.

    Thank you for curing the worst of my ethnocentrism. I apologize for giving offense. Sincerely.

  69. Miss Antonova, I and my fellow community organizers thank you for this post. We live in Guatemala, where sexual slavery of poor women is a centuries’ old plague every people’s struggler fights utterly. I’ve personally been to Brazil visiting with community organizers and they tell sexual slavery and child prostitution is also terrible there speciallly in far-away mining and logging camps in the Amazon. We all must be aware and mobilized to stop those crimes and tto get the perpetrators and thier accomplices exemplarly punished. Any girl or woman in this situation acts in a obvious self-defense right whatever she does to her captors. Unfortunately, there’s very little they can do to free themselves. That’s up to us to do what we can for them, being as organized, relentless, outspoken as we cane. Please receive our congratulations, support and our pledge that our imprisoned sisters are not alone. Every day our efforts build, out of this darkness, a new world, a world in which such horrors will be impossible. So say we all.

  70. Thank you for your well put article.

    As a matter of fact, i have seen how humiliated these girls are for one simple reason… they are desperate for money… BUT WHY??? to buy a small flat to secure themselves and who ever is left from their families..

    I have nothing but respect for most of them.

    Dan

  71. This the VERY interesting read, but, not shock or surprise.

    It natural, I guess, that men desire after the most beautiful of women, for wife, for mother of their children, for sex,. for whatever, Ukraine [Russia too] is famous for producing such the most beautiful women, and so much. This along with our poor economic situation always craetes such the ability for this to happen, we all know about it, yes ?

    You the good writer, I will follow !

    Sincerely,

    Marina Demchuck.

    Ukraine.

  72. Thankyou, for the meaningful article. Speaking with care and sincerity you have crafted a profound message that hopefully can serve as a banner of hope
    for families in this plight. As always, continue in the good fight and join with others that see it the way you do. I saw some of the articles that you wrote in the Moscow paper at the other link and think you are brave and not a coward.
    Just speak the words in your heart and the world will hear. Be kind to yourself, God Bless

  73. Thank you so much for writing this. It’s so important. I was domestically sex trafficked in NYC for ten years. The scale of what is being done to Ukrainian and other women from the former USSR is horrifying. I want to shout what you wrote from the rooftops:

    Let’s tell the State Department that it needs to do a better job in placing responsibility on governments complicit in the sex-trade. While we’re at it, let’s also tell the feds to get off their moral high-horse and focus on women trafficked into the good ol’ US of A. And let us not forget that while some of us are enjoying our lives as students in prestigious universities, certain people are making billions off the backs of women who are much like us.

    So well said. Thank you again. I’m glad you are in the world and writing. XOXO

  74. Hello Stella, thanks for commenting here. I’ve seen your comments on Feministe and was very sorry to hear about your experience. From what I saw, I see that were are on the different sides of the so-called abolitionist divide, but I welcome your participation here.

    Unfortunately, I have become quite disillusioned with government action around this issue as well – but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t out there, doing good work on behalf of the victims of the traffickers.

  75. Dear Natalia,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I don’t see myself as being on one side of a divide or another. WIth so many women’s lives at stake, the careful fostering of a divide is tragic and ultimately quite irresponsible. Much of that conversation on feministe, all the ‘debate’ and cruelty, was pathetic and narcissistic. I regret I let myself get dragged into the bullshit. I support the nordic model, but I am not interested in fights or being on one side of things or another. The nordic model will only work if women have a way to survive outside prostitution. It won’t work places where the government functions primarily as an instrument of oppression. In the USA and western Europe most ‘sex workers unions’ are led by pimps, and they welcome Johns as members. I don’t like this and I think it’s my right to object. I think the any movement focused on the devastation of trafficking should be ultimately led by prostitution survivors (and anyone over 30 or so isn’t interesting to pimps or traffickers or the majority of Johns — someone saying they’re a 45 year old sex worker is ridiculous). I think if the movement were survivor-led we wouldn’t have these divides.

    I care about the women in prostitution. I think what’s needed is profound social change. People need to think of women in prostitution as human beings — they don’t. As you brilliantly put it above, many see prostitutes as sexual fantasies rather than women.

    So we need to get the stories about women in prostitution out there. So people think “hey that could have happened to me, or my sister, or my daughter.” Which is what you did brilliantly in this post.

    Women like me who’ve beent through prostitution don’t see it as a polarized ideological argument. It shouldn’t be. Pasternak wrote brilliantly about how ridiculous ideological ‘clubs’ are in Safe Conduct, which is about his friendship with Mayakovsky Ultimately the idealogues are responsible for M’s suicide. And one of the most destructive ideological groups? The futurist poets — who demanded M posture and present a false self well before the revolution. Have you read it? It’s amazing. The last line: “He was spoilt from childhood by the future, which he mastered rather early and apparently without great difficulty.”

    I am working on forming an international network of prostitution survivors. A leaderless organization, flat, each woman with an equal voice. One voice one vote. We’ll vote on what to speak out about, what to address. So we can support each other in activism and life, and speak out as a united group on what matters most to us. We vote on what we want to speak out about. If you know anyone who might want to be connected with a warm international survivor activist community — not ideologues, not arguers, but women who’ve been there and care about those like them, I’d be grateful if you’d pass along my email address: casualflocks@gmail.com. Our mission is to be constructive, not divisive.

    I have family and teenage nieces in Siberia. I think what you wrote about in this post is so important — so much MORE important than any ideological arguments. The story you’re telling above needs to be told, and by someone like you — who sees women from the former USSR are belittled and demeaned in the USA, and understands what it’s like in Ukraine, and perhaps other countries such as Russia and Byelorus and Kazakhstan. Understands the mass scale of trafficking and prostitution. I can’t tell the story the way you can. I’d love to see you write a book about it.

    I don’t care what ‘side’ you are on dear Natalya, I’m so glad you’re in the world and writing. Keep at it. It’s so important.

    Dostoyevsky told us much more about prostitution than any of these ideological arguments.

    “In truth little heart, we are each responsible to all for all. It’s only that men don’t know this. If they knew the world would be a paradise at once.”

    Love always,

    Stella

  76. This is brilliant:

    Excited utterances about the sexual prowess of these women, their desirability and availability, the mail-order bride fantasy, the crudeness and the naked superiority complex – all of this served my conscience well. I’ve been shocked out of my shell, reminded of the fact that while I was growing up in a cozy little enclave in Charlotte, North Carolina my compatriots were being beaten into submission by meaty thugs and pawed by drooling clientele

    We need to get people to see this and never forget it. Much love, XOXOXO

  77. Natalia — are you involve in anti-trafficking? I’d loved to know what you’re doing — what’s going on in Moscow in that regard. XO

  78. I don’t think I can say much, since so many other people have said so many things of appreciation before I even read this, but I just felt I had to leave a comment. A comment that would have said everything from ‘this was powerful’ to ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re brave to write this’ but now it’s only a comment from one person saying that this must stay written here, for everyone to read.

    Because I think many people would need to read this, for eyes to open, for hearts to encourage and for action to spring forth.

  79. Hi natalie, I went looking for Victor Malarek’s book everywhere but didn’t get any result. I guess the book’s very rare here in my country, do you know where to get one beside amazon? or perhaps any ebook? I’m actually doing my thesis about Natasha Trade. anyway, your writing is truly interesting, really opens my mind about trafficking :)

  80. I am involved with a local advocacy group for Human Trafficking in Ontario Canada. Being of Ukranian descent I would like to help the orphanages and girls from the Ukraine. Do IOU know of any organizations or volunteer agencies in Eastern Canada? how can I help?

  81. Hi,
    Awful and true. BBC and network Tv here have “exposed” problem.
    Here in Rehoboth Beach, USA we had quite a few Slavic girls working summers.
    Recently, mostly from Belarus. Not many past year. There is housing advice,
    the large local library has free internet, the St.Edmund’s Catholic church has a free
    supper and social night. I know the local resort businesses like the work ethic of these
    visitors.
    Seriously, as far as I know the Mayor, the police are protective of them. Two summers ago a group of four stayed at the house across the street. I heard they had to pay a labor contractor
    a sum of $1000 plus to come here. That I don’t get. In late spring or early summer there is
    a job information exchange in the large local Convention Center where employers gather to meet job seekers.
    We really do care about these girls. Two summers ago several men followed a group of girls walking home after dark. They grabbed their purses, knocking one or more to the ground. The local police and the State Police were on the job right away and the culprits caught. They were local bad boys not international mobsters,

    One year four or five Russian girls worked at a convenience food store. They were sharp, quick,neat, smart, and tremendous workers.

    I agree with the characterization of American university girls. Not all. Over privileged,? That s not it, I know rich kids who are quite considerate and not like the ones described. But, girls who are brought up badly are arrogant and we have a bumper group of them.

    As for the rest of your story. I recall reading about Ukrainian girls, duped or naive , going off thinking they have a great job opportunity. Down into Italy, border guards and police are paid off.
    They lend their friendly chaperone their passport never to see it again. From Italy to Turkey.
    One girl among a group resisted. They threw her off a balcony ten stories up.
    I think most of us know this is going on. Men don’t care. I am serious, I t think most men don’t .
    They pick up the paper and they see Lady Ga Ga or Miley Cyrus twerking and think sex equals women. A double standard? I guess it is if you think men and women are the same except one has outside plumbing .
    What bothers me is women don’t care either . Feminism here, is all about money and how many women get a top executive job. Cold . I don’t think so.They are after money and power and promote hiring bias favoring women,yes. But how much can a women do before she annoys the male powers.? Its not a career building block.

    Its a shocking and horrible situation. I am going to finish with a story from a Chinese friend.
    It goes back many years to time China was rigidly communist. My friend went home to visit.
    Drugs were a huge problem in the villages. The village elders issued an edict . Get caught selling drugs we will chop your head off and stick it on a pointed bamboo pole planted in the middle of the town square. It ended the drug scourge immediately.

  82. Hi,

    My heart goes out to these girls:( I just can’t believe that people are so evil and sadistic to do these kinda things to these girls! These men should be hunted down and given a taste of their own medicine. I can’t imagine seeing my kid go to school and then never seeing her ever again:( I am from South Africa, if you need help with anything, feel free to ask.

    Cheers

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