The BEL is for youth involved in trading sex for money, gifts, drugs, or survival needs, like food or a place to stay for the night. Some examples are exotic dancing, escorting, or street based sex trade. The sex trade can also mean that someone is forced into it. Some examples are trafficking, or being forced by parents or pimps.
A bad encounter is a negative experience with institution or system, such as DCFS, health care, police, hospitals, schools, or any other institution.
Violence can look like verbal, physical harm, emotional harm, or threats- or just being told that they "cant help you" because you are homeless, trading sex for money, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender- or another reason.
The Bad encounter Line is a way to warn youth about the bad encounter you experienced. It can also be a way to tell other youth how to fight back and have successful experiences with service providers.
Talking about how you fought back is important, it shows that youth in the sex trade can and do fight back! It also gives other youth ideas on how to fight back. We are our own best resources.
The Bad Encounter Line is ANONYMOUS! The information is published in a zine 4 times per year. We might use part of your story in the zine so that other people can learn from your experience.