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Child Trafficking Survivor Tells Her Story

Child Trafficking Survivor Tells Her Story

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Image source: Pixabay (This isn’t an image from Bailee’s book)

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There were 12 steps down into the basement at Carrie Bailee’s father’s house. She remembers every one. You see, the basement was where the men waited. Where the abuse happened.

Carrie Bailee is the survivor of a child pedophilia ring in Canada. Her father abused and raped her, and he sold her to other men. She was his victim from the time she was four until she was 14.

In a recent article in The Age, interviewer Deborah Snow talks with Bailee about her upcoming book, “Flying on Broken Wings,” which is her account of her childhood. It’s to be published by Affirm press on October 1.

Bailee’s father had abused her mother during their marriage, and her mother divorced him when Bailee was seven. Sadly, Bailee had access visits with her father every fortnight—and she was at her father’s mercy during these times.

It’s not easy to read Ms. Snow’s article, or listen to Bailee’s spoken word poetry, which is one way she has of expressing and handling the emotions she still deals with. But I think part of the reason this issue isn’t talked about so much is because it’s so uncomfortable. It’s hard to hear, and harder to accept. Even Ms. Snow admitted that the depths of cruelty and horror in Bailee’s story are so unimaginable, that she didn’t always want to believe it:

“Bailee’s story seems so far off the scale of human depravity that at times it is hard to suspend disbelief. The netherworld she describes swarms with horrors: young children sold for sex, children coerced into acting out the fantasies of organised paedophile rings, bestiality, bondage, and ritual humiliation.”

I haven’t read the book yet (it’s only available for pre-order until Oct. 1), but Bailee did tell Snow that she tried to walk a line between sharing prurient and voyeuristic details, and relating her experiences. This book isn’t about gawking at child sexual abuse. “Where I am explicit,” Bailee told Snow, “is where I describe what the abuse did to the child. Because people have to know that, the first time a child is interfered with, their life is never the same again.”

The details of the darkness aren’t the point of the book. The point is the light—that, just as Bailee focused on a small window in the basement where she was abused, holding that point of light in her mind, she’s now standing as that point of light for others. The point is that no suffering or trauma is so devastating that we can’t find our strength again.

I feel weird writing too much about the book itself, though—I haven’t read it yet.

Eventually, young Bailee opened up to a counselor, who told the police.

Many victims of child trafficking do not survive their trauma for long. Bailee has. Most survivors of child trafficking do not speak out. Bailee is. She’s acting to support other victims, and raise awareness about the issue.

She was motivated out of silence by the deaths of Jill Meagher (who was raped and murdered in Australia in 2012) and Jyoti Singh Pandey (who was traveling with a male friend on a Delhi bus in 2012, when her friend was knocked unconscious and she was gang raped by six men—including the bus’s driver). These incidents roused a fire of anger in Bailee, and she determined not to remain silent. So she wrote her memoir and began speaking.

As she says in her spoken word poetry:

“I will rise up and speak. And be that voice for the 27 million voiceless whose stories need to be told because bodies continue to be sold. I will stand tall in the freedom forgiveness gifted me. And be that reminder that you can still fly on broken wings.”

That’s one of the most goddamned inspiring things I’ve ever heard. As is Bailee’s attitude of a survivor, instead of victimhood.

Just look at this post from her blog, where she writes about sharing her book with her 15-year-old daughter, and her daughter’s response to it. If reading Snow’s article brought tears of hurt to my eyes, this blog brought tears of happiness. I think there’s something special about people who can turn tears of pain into tears of happiness—not that they are different than the rest of us, but that they show us what the human spirit is capable of, and we see that forgiveness and love really are stronger than cruelty and hate. It stops being a Pollyanna thing, you know? It becomes real.

Bailee’s website is FlyingOnBrokenWings.com. You can pre-order the book there, or watch a video of her spoken word piece “SOLD” (it’s also embedded in Ms. Snow’s article). I highly recommend it. She is powerful.

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L. Marrick is a fiction writer and freelance copywriter. 50% of proceeds from her book Working Girl, a memoir of her time working for a professional escort, go to sex trafficking non-profits. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @LMarrick.

© L. Marrick 2014. The content of this article, except for quoted or linked source materials, is protected by copyright. Please contact the author at the above links to request usage.


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