PODCAST: Michelle Mara on the truth about the decriminalized sex trade in New Zealand

In this episode, Meghan Murphy speaks with

Michelle Mara is a British-born survivor of the sex trade in New Zealand. She is a single mother of four who writes and speaks about her experiences in prostitution in New Zealand, including as a madam, during prohibition as well as after the trade was fully decriminalized. Michelle has been a refugee support worker for Somali women in Wellington, a foster parent for Native American (Lakota) children in South Dakota, a mental health and disability advocate, social support advisor for young families during the aftermath of 9/11 in the U.S Military, and has voluntarily housed numerous at risk teens. She advocates for the Equality/Nordic model and co-founded Wahine Toa Rising NZ, a survivor-led organization supporting sexually exploited women and girls, currently working towards establishing exit supports and services, as well as a refuge/safe house for vulnerable women wanting to exit prostitution.

I spoke with her from her home in New Zealand on March 25th, 2020.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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