Several months ago, Wellesley resident Kate Price, who was featured in a Hometown Weekly article in September, went public with her story of childhood sexual exploitation at the hands of an undisclosed family member.
Price has decided to continue her research on sex trafficking in a Ph. D. program at UMass Boston and began a crowdsourcing campaign to help offset the cost. As of this week, Price had already raised more than six percent (more than $4,000) of her goal.
“I feel like we really have a movement here,” said Price in a phone interview last week. “I jumped from really striving for four percent and I jumped to over six in a day and that’s really encouraging to me.”
Her story has spread from the local area to national media outlets, in part thanks to her husband’s connections in the sports world. Chris Price covers the New England Patriots for WEEI and in October his connections led to an interview with Sports Illustrated writer and author Jeff Pearlman, whose popular “The “The Quaz” provided Price with much greater reach for her story.
“That interview went so well; it could not have gone any better,” she said. “It definitely provided a lot of support and a lot of recognition that I really appreciated.”
Price added, “It’s been great to be able to send people the link to the Jeff Pearlman interview and links to other press that I have done. It certainly shows that I’m out there and it gives people a great base to say this is a great story.”
The Pearlman interview picked up momentum on social media with popular sports and media personalities, such as Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, spreading the story to their followers. Soon after the interview with Pearlman, Price got her first $1,000 donor.
In addition to the interview, Price has been speaking at events, such as a Take Back the Night in Chattanooga, Tenn. and at a policy conference in Jacksonville, Fla. for the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center.
As she continues to tell her story, Price has seen that other survivors have been more willing to come forward – not necessarily to share the way that she has with a wide audience, but to receive services that will assist in breaking the cycle of exploitation and abuse. Price noted that the day after the Take Back the Night event, in which she joined with several other speakers to share their experiences, “multiple people” went to the local counseling service to receive support.
“For me that’s the most rewarding, when people who may have been silent in the past and are really suffering in isolation really feel like they can say something and that they are going to get help,” she said.
“That’s why I continue to speak out.”
While in Florida, Price also received news that a paper she had written had been directly instrumental in helping decide a legislative issue. A Florida lawmaker was trying to add a provision to the state’s Safe Harbor Law that would require that children be locked up while receiving services.
As Price noted, the idea was for the child’s benefit so that it would ensure services would be received, but she explained that running away was a natural aspect of breaking from exploitation and that the provision would “re-victimize” the child. Her paper gave opponents to the provision language to help defeat it.
“It’s amazing that my work can literally help kids from being locked up while they’re receiving services,” said Price. “That’s so moving to me and for me it’s like okay my career is done; I have done what I set out to do.”
“When people ask why am I doing this, well I know exactly why.”
Price’s crowdsourcing campaign is continuing. For more information or to donate, visit www.kpadvocacy.com or www.gofundme.com/supportkpadvocacy.
— Hometown Weekly Staff (reporter, Josh Perry, @josh_perry10)