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Published On: Mon, Feb 9th, 2015

2015 Grammy Awards: Brooke Axtell exposes human trafficking during Katy Perry intro

Over 25 years after being trafficked, Brooke Axtell stood before millions at the Grammy Awards to introduce Katy Perry’s rendition of “By the Grace of God.”

“Authentic love does not devalue another human being. Authentic love does not silence, shame or abuse,” Axtell said in a spoken-word piece. “Please reach out for help,” Axtell implored. “Your voice will save you.”

Brooke Axtell at 2015 Grammy Awards  photo/ screenshot CBS coverage

Brooke Axtell at 2015 Grammy Awards photo/ screenshot CBS coverage

When Brooke Axtell was a child, her nanny took her to the basement of a strange house and sold her to men who raped her.

Axtell’s speech, which followed a video public-service announcement about rape from President Obama, lasted less than two minutes and put Axtell’s experiences center stage.

In a piece titled “What I Know of Silence,” written for an anthology of women’s writing in 2012, Axtell recounts in graphic detail how Jim abused and threatened her.

“Jim tied me up and called me a whore. He gave me to other men who pay to rape little girls and film it for their private pornography collections,” she wrote.

The essay goes on to describes the basement where she was trafficked, furnished with a cot, a cage, chains and a camera, and the shame she felt for what happened there. Even after Jim left, that shame kept her from reporting him.

Axtell carried the secret of her abuse into adulthood, when she again became a victim of sexual violence , this time at the hands of her boyfriend.

“I was terrified of him, and ashamed I was in this position,” she said in her speech at the Grammys. “I believed my compassion could restore him and our relationship. … But my compassion was incomplete because it did not include me.”

It wasn’t until her boyfriend threatened to kill her that Axtell sought help. She told the story of her abuse to her mother, who connected her with a local domestic violence shelter.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Rush Limbaugh attacks Obama on ‘wrong’ sexual assault, rape data - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Obama spoke briefly during the Grammy Awards with a PSA style message to raise awareness of violence against women, mentioning stats which talking head Rush Limbaugh […]

  2. Chris Brown in seats during Grammy stand against violence – New York Daily News | Amazing News says:

    […] Awards 2015: Taylor Swift and Katy Perry Cross Paths and Other …Us Magazine2015 Grammy Awards: Brooke Axtell exposes human trafficking during Katy …The Global DispatchWAVY-TV -Talk Radio News Service -EBONY.comall 341 news […]

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