For Survivors


Welcome to the Survivors Section of the GEMS website! I am happy that you are here. As survivors, we all know what it feels like to feel alone or to feel like there is no one that can really understand how we are feeling. Whether you are just leaving your pimp, or contemplating going back, been out for a while but are still struggling with emotions, or just having a rough day and need a space to vent, please check out our Survivor Leadership page.  GEMS offers a place to seek support and understanding that only other survivors can offer. Everyone still needs someone and no matter where you are in life, we all need to feel supported, encouraged, motivated, and loved.

I too was in a place where I thought being in the life was all I was ever capable of doing.  In fact, I never saw myself as a victim of anything and I believed that I would always be defined by my past. It wasn’t until I came to GEMS at the age of 16 that my life and self-perception began to change. As time passed, I began to see a difference in myself; I began to believe, confidently, I could actually have a life after being in the life.

Now 8 years later, I am the Survivor Leadership Coordinator at GEMS! I have to say that I am truly honored to have been chosen for this position specifically because my daily job is to work directly with other survivors to support them through their process.  Survivor leadership is the foundation of the movement to end commercial sexual exploitation of children.  As a survivor, it is critical that survivors are being presented as leaders and are not just solely being defined by their past.  Instead, survivors should be characterized by their strength, resilience, insight, intelligence and expertise on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation.

I’ve came a long way from where I was but I still feel everyday that my battle is not done.   For every girl who has been through this, I continue to fight the fight and stand up and speak out for those who are still out there.  I moderate Council of Daughters for those girls who feel they have no one to turn to or that there is no hope for a better future. Speaking from my personal experience, the reality is that things do get better in time and there is a brighter future for all of us no matter where you are or what has happened to you along the way.

Our experiences may look different but we all share one journey and that is to end commercial sexual exploitation of children.  Our past can be someone future. Our past is someone’s daughter, niece, mother, sister, grandmother and CSEC doesn’t have a face but we all have a voice in this. If this happens to one of us then it affects all of us.  Our lives are far from over; we are all courageous to have made it this far and we will keep rising. I am very passionate and dedicated to all of you; we are all in this together. Sending lots of love to everyone who visits this page and again, I welcome you!

From my heart to yours,

Sheila White

Survivor Leadership Coordinator

Girls Educational & Mentoring Services