Kate Price is a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation of children, specifically child sex trafficking and pornography. Price’s exploiter sold her for sex and pornographic pictures from early childhood through adolescence at backyard parties, pedophilia ring events, and truck stops. Her first memory is of being sexually assaulted by her exploiter in the back of a family friend’s bar. At age 5, Price ran out of her house screaming during an assault, only to be pulled back inside by a family member who asked, “What will the neighbors think?” Additionally, she survived physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by multiple relatives. Even though neighbors, teachers, coaches, and family friends suspected she was being harmed, no one intervened.
The trafficking stopped when Price confronted her exploiter as she got older, realizing what she was enduring was not “normal.” Armed only with a fierce belief in herself, Price eventually ran away on a Greyhound bus and passed through New York City’s Port Authority bus terminal — a key recruiting ground where runaways are lured into child sex trafficking — on her way to visit a friend a New England college. Even though Price ultimately returned home safely, this bus trip marked the beginning her extraction from her hometown and family.
A story of unparalleled grit and determination, Price’s life is filled with moments of heart wrenching survival and tender perseverance. Her journey sheds light on the complex crisis of the commercial sexual exploitation of children and provides hope for healing.
Price is also a researcher and survivor advocate. A graduate of Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and Simmons College in Boston, MA, Price’s work has informed national child sex trafficking policy and programming. Price is a currently a doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her working paper Longing to Belong: Relational Risks and Resilience of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children in the U.S. was recently published by the Wellesley Centers for Women, a research and action institute at Wellesley College. She also authored a chapter “Collapsing This Hushed House: Deconstructing Images of Child Prostitution in the United States,” in the textbook Global Perspectives on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: Europe, Latin America, North America, and Global. Price has presented at the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Meeting and numerous colleges, universities, and organizations. She serves on the End Child Prostitution and Trafficking-USA (ECPAT-USA) advisory board. She has been a Big Sister with Big Sisters of Greater Boston and a foster parent with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.