'My Sister's Keeper' Initiative Launches at UNC Charlotte to Spread Message of Respect for Women

CHARLOTTE -- A new initiative wants us all to treat women as if they were our sisters.

My Sister's Keeper announced its launch Wednesday at UNC Charlotte. They want to spread the message of unconditional respect for women.

The movement involves various UNCC student groups, the Charlotte Area Health Education Center and sex trafficking survivors.

Tina Valentine is one of those survivors, and she told us she’s just now starting to share her story.

“You know, I was young and impressionable,” she said.

Valentine said she was a college freshman in Ohio when she was first introduced to drinking and partying.

It then became an alcohol addiction, selling her body to be able to afford her living expenses and eventually working as an escort.

Another survivor at the news conference was Timon Dawson.

She said she was 13 when she was manipulated in to the world of sex trafficking by a business owner in her neighborhood.

She said she was told “You need to make money. How am I going to do that? I'm going to be in the strip clubs. I'm going to be doing that, exploiting myself. And you know the next thing you know because who does that sober. No one does that sober. So now I'm an alcoholic. I'm an addict.”

But now, both Valentine and Dawson are survivors, and they got involved in My Sister’s Keeper, so no woman will have to go through what they went through.

And she said it all starts with unconditional, mutual respect.

Organizers say they're a one-day "Rock the Pledge" event at UNC Charlotte in February to get more young people involved.

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