TRUE STORIES: Darlene

News on Modern Day Slavery

On the corner of Hastings and Dunlevy, a young Darlene stepped from a cab and gazed upon her new home in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. She grew up in Toronto, then at 13 moved to Kitimat, BC with her drug addicted parents. At 28, Darlene was paying for an expensive crack addiction by working the streets, just like her mother.

“I worked 24 hours, 7 days a week,” said Darlene from The Salvation Army Harbour Light Detox Centre. “I spent $500 a day on crack.”

She laughs when asked whether she lived the “Pretty Woman” dream. She says the girls on the street are owned and controlled by the gangs, pimps and dealers.

“Property of…” she said. “They keep them on drugs to control them.”

Nancy McConnell of The Salvation Army, says the girls are trapped by debt bondage and fear. “They’ll cut your fingers off. I’ve seen it done,” said…

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