Since June 5th 2014, I discovered that I was being betrayed by an organization, I trusted. They posted on multiple social networks, stalked my friend’s list to post a blog about me being a fraud and supposedly taking funds from Breaking Out and allegedly claiming that my story wasn’t true and that I was claiming to be them and withholding any private donations from them. Along with their claim, they blocked me from even viewing or commenting on that blog, if others were to rebuttal their accusations, they were immediately blocked, so who’s the one hiding? I didn’t acknowledge the slander until one of my friends through social network told me. The day before the slander, I was their admin for the Breaking Out page on Facebook. I was duped into believing we had a collaboration and most of all a friendship.
I even sent them an e-mail thinking that this couldn’t be true, I had a friend to copy and paste the blog/post and send it to me since I couldn’t view it through a link. They stated they’ve been doing an investigation on me for over a year, well I must be the idiot to believe the late night calls and “I care about you and you can trust me” statements were them investigating me. Breaking Out sought me out in the wake of the media news about “Eden” sometime in the fall of 2011 thru spring of 2012, I’ve never heard of them prior to that nor did I know anything about them, but I thought anyone wanting to fight “slavery” would-be allies of mine. James/Jimmy Barnes, the founder of Breaking Out, we had multiple conversations on the phone, we discussed ideas to combat the issue, to talking about our personal lives; like how it’s like being a parent in a advocacy world. We even discussed how difficult it is to get funding. Our phone conversations were never sexual or inappropriate, it was more like two abolitionist talking about other stuff.
What baffled me was we kept in touch through e-mail and phone. They added a page saluting me on their website last year that continued through this spring. Jimmy told me they were supposedly getting huge funding grant through the State of Florida and that I would be compensated to do public speakings on behalf of Breaking Out, my title would be Public Educator for their organization. None of that ever happened and I wasn’t upset. The less we spoke I assumed they were doing their own thing. In February 2014, while I was visiting FL for a speaking engagement, I met up with Jimmy and his new assistant Kim Stinsman, we took photos together, we spoke, drank and laughed. Then a month before the slander, I received a text from them saying “Happy Mother’s Day”. How weird since they were investigating me to send me a text like that?
So, when this smear campaign started, yes I was upset, yes I cried and yes I lost so many people who also sent threat e-mails, hate mails/messages, speaking opportunities and most of all I lost a friend who betrayed me. He posted my past felony on his page to benefit his false allegations, yes I have a felony for theft and I’m still serving probation, I have not violated my probation and that is how I know their allegations are false. I’d be in prison by now if that is the case, but it isn’t. My team and I have contacted the Florida Charities Bureau, they have stated to us they do not know who Breaking Out is and have told us that they are in violation. At this time due to pending investigation on them, I’m not at liberty to share further details, but I’d like to make my own personal statement. I can not sit here and allow the smear campaign to continue, but if you want to know what is going on, I urge you to research the blogs you find about me that states that I’m a fraud.
Most of the supporters for the smear campaign aren’t reputable media outlets like Huffington Post, CNN, or any of the local media outlets. Most of these smear blogs are from personal blogs that seek to spread gossip and create further controversy; also would any Board of Directors allow any legitimate agency discredit a survivor or other entity in such an unethical way? We need to do further research regarding media posts and why they are being posted. I want you to also know that my tragedies have been over 16 years, there are some I don’t quite remember all the exact details, I do the best I can, saying I’ve been trafficked from 1994-1997 is accurate, but was I physically held with chains the whole time? No, but I don’t know the exact dates, it wasn’t like my traffickers gave us a journal to record what we went through.
Do I seriously need to detail every account verbatim? Should I memorize what I told the last group? Being a speaker in a wide range of audience from different demographics also varies in how you share your testimony. Some groups don’t want the details, others want to hear more about they dynamics of certain accounts, other times I’m talking to religious groups or kids, my interviews also vary, along with time that I’m given. Some engagements I can only share in 3 mins, other times it’s half an hour and when I get to speak for 60 to 90 minutes, I can be more detailed. My full memoir will be out this fall you’ll have the opportunity to hear my voice, my side of my experience.
When a rape victim is on trial and she lacks physical evidence, do we still not support her in her tragedies or do we continue to blame the victim? Now the decision is yours, please understand that I’m tired of these false controversy and I will not tolerate being a victim no more.
Thank you for letting me share my side of the story.