As a passionate advocate for the protection of sex trade workers and of the anti-trafficking movement, George Brown graduate Natasha Falle educates people around the world about the realities of the sex trade industry. She’s been honoured for her work with a 2017 Premier’s Award, which recognizes outstanding Ontario college graduates.
Falle received the 2017 Premier’s Award in the community services category at the annual awards gala on November 27. College graduates are celebrated for their contributions to their fields in six categories: business, community services, creative arts and design, health sciences, recent graduate and technology.
Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate program
Falle spent 12 years in forced prostitution, starting at the age of 15. During that time she was trafficked by a man who abused and married her to keep her captive. She endured sexual assault, physical abuse and kidnapping, and became addicted to drugs. She fled to her mother’s home at the age of 27 and began a new chapter in her life.
A 2003 alumna of the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate program, Falle says it was her college education that gave her the confidence and the tools to turn her life around.
“Without the program, none of what I've accomplished would have been possible,” she said. “It was really the final stages of my healing. I was finally able to take the blame off myself and make the focus about helping other women. I really found my purpose there.”
Awareness and education
Falle is the founder and executive director of Sex Trade 101 , a survivor-led political activism coalition dedicated to raising awareness of the exploitation and trafficking of women in the sex industry. She and her coalition played an important role in getting legislation passed to help protect sex trade workers.
Other highlights of Falle’s work include:
- Providing support for more than 1,000 sex trade victims and survivors
- Training and lecturing police forces, judges and crown attorneys across Canada and in Africa, Poland and Brazil
- Speaking to audiences at the United Nations
- Speaking at community centres, colleges and universities
- Serving as an expert witness before Senate and Parliamentary committees
- Teaching in Humber College’s Police Foundations Course for five years
Learn more about Falle’s work and story in Taken, Toronto Life, July 2017 .