Wellesley mom and Wellesley Centers for Women social scientist Kate Price has turned to crowdfunding to support her pursuit of a Ph.D. in Sociology from UMass Boston, where she plans to continue research on the prevention of commercial sexual exploitation of children. Price’s unique perspective on the topic comes from her own exploitation in the sex trafficking trade from early childhood to early adolescence by a drug-addicted member of her immediate family.
While Price has been studying the sex trafficking topic for 15 years now and speaking about it for 10, she only “came out” as a survivor on Aug. 7 via her KP Advocacy blog (part of her reluctance to tell her personal story has been that her exploiter remains alive). She followed up that post by doing a TV interview with Fox News in Boston on her story and cause:
Price grew up in rural Pennsylvania in a small college town, and used education as her ticket out of that environment. She went on to earn degrees at Lesley College and Simmons College in this area, and has been enjoying life in Wellesley for just over 6 years with her husband and son. Price hasn’t encountered anyone who has been exploited in Wellesley but says it’s no coincidence that Wellesley has been the site of at least a couple of prostitution outfits (at least one of which was connected by authorities to human trafficking). “I would never accuse Wellesley residents of purchasing sex; however, the primary purchasers of sex are upper-class white males, which is certainly a demographic of our town. While others were shocked to find this in our community, I actually wasn’t surprised at all. Sexual exploitation is a business to exploiters and they are running their businesses in a place where there could be high demand.”
Price is now on the speaking circuit, and has a couple of events slated for October, one in Tennessee and one in Florida. Further out, she’ll be speaking at the Wellesley Centers for Women lunchtime seminar series on April 2. She’ll be joined at that talk by Janelle Nanos, a senior editor at Boston Magazine and Schuster Fellow at Brandeis University who is writing about Price and might work with her on a book.
You can help to fund Price’s Ph.D. effort via her GoFundMe page, where she is trying to raise $66K to cover school and to a lesser degree, her crowdfunding fees. Whether or not Price hits her financial goal, she has already signed up for classes. “The crowdfunding total isn’t anywhere near what I will actually need to get through school – the $60,000 is simply to help cover the cost and to show funders that people want to help survivors past the ‘crisis’ stage.”
Here’s audio from a Wellesley Centers for Women lunchtime talk Price gave in 2012 about prostituted children.