Tim Matsui on Minor Sex Trafficking

Lisa in her robe. Photo by Tim Matsui.

Lisa in her robe. Photo by Tim Matsui.

Tim Matsui received our first Women’s Initiative grant in October of 2012. Since that time, he has dedicated himself to telling the stories of the girls and young women whose lives have been torn apart by minor sex trafficking in the U.S. It has resulted in “The Long Night,” a feature length documentary film, which you will be able to see soon.

Tim has been updating all of us on the project as he has progressed with his sensitive writing on this difficult subject. His posts are the “Leaving the Life” series on The Alexia Foundation website.

“Why?” she asks. “I don’t even care about myself.”

Among his most moving posts is on his meeting of Lisa, one of his work’s core subjects. Lisa was taken into police custody for prostitution. Instead of bringing her to jail, they brought her to the Genesis Project, a center whose goal is to help girls and women break free of sex trafficking.

At the center, Lisa is given a robe. She’s never worn a robe. She’s told she can keep it. She is told people care about her, they want her to do well and feel comfortable there.

“Why?” she asks. “I don’t even care about myself.”

Tim has captured a powerful moment that gives us all insight into how one ends up in the life of sex trafficking and what it does to one’s psyche. Tim makes us all care about Lisa by sharing the few words she says. It is instances like this that that our photographers excel at capturing that stir people’s hearts and drive change.

We are proud to be supporting powerful work like Tim’s. You can help support work like this by contributing to The Alexia Foundation today.

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