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It has been 10 years since she left the sex-trade industry, and she now works with other ex-prostitutes with a goal of getting more young women out of the cycle of prostitution. Perrier was born in Thunder Bay to an Ojibwe woman who gave her up for adoption to a non-Native family. During her time with her adopted family, a friend of the family sexually abused her.
She began to exhibit behaviour problems and it was hard for her parents to handle her. A call was made by Wawatay News to the social-services information line Ontario asking for services in Thunder Bay that were aimed at women exiting the sex-trade.
The operator at provided information on shelters in the city, as well as counseling services and Ontario Works for monetary help and low-income housing, but there was no single entity to help a woman in need of an exit-strategy. Sue Watson, an outreach worker at the John Howard Society, acknowledges the fact that today there are not any programs set up in the city for these women. Watson said that the issue is starting to gain the attention of groups around the city.
Other programs that are already in place have become quasi-outreach programs for prostitutes who can utilize some of the services offered, she said. Watson is hoping to recruit former street workers into SWAN to get their invaluable input with creating a program, much like the website Sextrade that was started by Perrier and her associates. Colonialism and First Nation street workers First Nations women have long since been a target for men and women seeking to exploit them by luring them into the prostitution lifestyle.
Perrier worries that this will make it more difficult to seek out those who are trafficking underage prostitutes in brothels, and lead to more people choosing to enter the world of prostitution. Watson also agreed that it is the men who pay for sex who should be the focus when it comes to the issue of prostitution.