Today, we are talking about the grim reality of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, along with the trauma and grief that survivors of these horrors experience.

In this episode, I am joined by Marjorie Saylor, who is a survivor of sex and labor trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Today, she is the Program Director of Alabaster Jar Project’s long-term shelter program and drop-in resource center for adult women survivors of sex trafficking. Marjorie discusses her journey from victim to survivor to advocate, turning her past into a platform for education and advocacy against trafficking.

Her story begins at the tender age of five, when her vulnerabilities were first exploited, as she was raised in an environment filled with domestic violence and sexual abuse. Marjorie recounts her journey of being a teenager growing up in Orange County, falling prey to manipulation and exploitation, and narrates her heartbreaking journey through life, marked by desperation and an unshakable will to survive.

She speaks powerfully of the moment she decided to break the cycle of abuse in her life, driven by the purpose she found as a mother to protect her daughter. Marjorie’s transformation began with a commitment to herself and her child to create a safer and better life for them both. Despite the obstacles, she was determined to avoid falling back into exploitation.

Now, Marjorie dedicates her life to combating sex trafficking and providing support to other survivors. Her life has been a journey from the depths of exploitation to the heights of hope, and she is dedicated to ensuring that others can make the same journey. To those still trapped in the life of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, Marjorie offers a heartfelt message of hope and empowerment, encouraging them to believe in their worth.

Some key topic points covered in this episode include:

  • The prevalence of human trafficking worldwide, including in the United States
  • Vulnerabilities that traffickers exploit and methods they use to lure and trap victims
  • Marjorie Saylor’s personal experience as a human trafficking survivor
  • The effects of childhood trauma and vulnerability as a precursor to exploitation
  • How poverty, isolation, and a lack of resources factor into the cycle of abuse and exploitation
  • How sexual assault can impact a person’s self-worth and make them more vulnerable to exploitation
  • How unfortunate circumstances and poor decisions can lead a person into the arms of exploitation
  • How victims can convince themselves that they’re making choices out of empowerment
  • How victims are mentally broken down/manipulated to believe they can’t survive without their abuser
  • How exposure and participation in exploitative environments can gradually normalize the experience in the minds of victims
  • Different factors that prevent victims from leaving exploitative situations, including fear, financial dependence, threats to loved ones, and potential exposure
  • The need for public engagement to enact legal changes and bolster the fight against human trafficking
  • The role society plays in normalizing exploitative behaviors and the importance of challenging these norms and initiating conversations about these issues

About Marjorie Saylor:

Marjorie Saylor is a survivor of sex and labor trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.  

In 2017, she Founded The Well Path, which provided emergency shelter services to both male and female survivors across the US with her hotel voucher program for five years. Now, She is the current Program Director of Alabaster Jar Project’s long-term shelter program and drop-in resource center for adult women survivors of sex trafficking.

Marjorie is also the Board President of the Survivor Leader Network of San Diego, which advocates for legislation recommendations for victims of trafficking while working to mentor other survivors into leaders. She currently sits as the Chair of the Survivor Voice Subcommittee on the San Diego County Human Trafficking and CSEC Advisory Council.

Marjorie has been very active in the community, helping to educate and inform delegates, law enforcement, healthcare workers, community advocates, others, and students at all levels of education, as she works to ensure the safety of her communities.

She has spoken internationally and was just awarded a proclamation from the County of San Diego recognizing Jan 11th, 2023, as “Marjorie Saylor Day” in San Diego County in honor of national human trafficking awareness day and her work to prevent trafficking in the region.

Check out the video below to watch our interview:

Resources Mentioned:

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