Brooke Axtell is an anti-human trafficking and anti-domestic violence activist. She was featured in a segment at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, where she made a spoken word performance after a speech by US President Barack Obama on domestic violence and before a performance by singer Katy Perry dedicated to domestic violence victims. The idea to have her participate in the segment with the US President and Perry came from Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich.
Axtell was trafficked by her nanny when she was seven years old; she was brought to a basement in a strange house where she was raped by several men. In an interview with Browbeat, Slate's culture blog, Axtell testified to having been in an abusive relationship later as an adult, the experience that helped spur her toward activism.
Axtell is now the director of communications and engagement for a non-profit called Allies Against Slavery. She also founded a healing community called Survivor Healing and Empowerment (S.H.E.) for survivors of rape, abuse and sex trafficking, and serves on The Gender Equality Impact Panel for Katerva, a community that identifies and funds the world’s leading sustainability initiatives. She is likewise a member of the Speaker’s Bureau for Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (R.A.I.N.N.), the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the U.S. Axtell also serves on the board of The Refuge, the first long-term therapeutic care program for survivors of child sex-trafficking in Austin, Texas.
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