By: Luis Gay
India native Anna Malika, 29, was adopted by an American family in which she “experienced sexual abuse as a child that led to self-harm, eating disorders and alcohol abuse later in life.” During her teen years, Malika was also in a “deceptive relationship with an older man” who sold pornographic pictures of her and other girls. Eventually escaping these traumatic experiences, Malika “entered a rehabilitation program through Mercy Ministries,” which helped girls like her seek freedom from “controlling issues.” Through this program, she made a complete turn with her life, pursuing a college degree in sociology and producing her own clothing line. Through a partnership with the clothing brand Elegantees—“a boutique brand that provides victims of sex trafficking independence with a self-sustaining income through sewing”—and the Nepali Rescue Project, Malika is designing clothing while helping Nepalese women who have been sexually exploited and trafficked. They are compensated fair wage and the profits from her clothing collection, “Freedom is the New Beautiful,” go to services that aid trafficking survivors. Malika describes her clothes as “modest yet fashionable.” Her vision is that “women do not need to expose themselves to be…feminine.” Through the use of “flowing fabrics” and “vibrant colors,” Anna Malika hopes to advocate to sex trafficking survivors that “[they] are…[not] defined by…[their] past wounds.”
Rodriguez, Vanessa Garcia. 2015Mar15. Former sex slave helps trafficking victims through fashion. Christian Examiner. http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/former.sex.slave.helps.trafficking.victims.through.fashion/48599.htm. [Accessed 28 April 2015]
Luis Gay is an undergraduate attending the University of San Francisco, pursuing a Biology degree. He is a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.
Photo Credit: This is an original sketch drawn by Anna Malika found at http://annamalika.com