Tanya’s Story

This story is based on a real life situation. It’s  aim is to help you recognize the many forms sexual exploitation can take.

Tanya is an 18 year old youth who did well at high school and graduated 6 months early. Tanya was interested in pursuing a career in modelling and fashion design. After taking fashion design courses and creating a portfolio, Tanya uploaded her portfolio onto a modelling website that promised to connect young models to agencies, photographers and managers.

Tanya met with several photographers and had some promising leads. A manager of a local modelling agency came across Tanya’s portfolio, approached her, and offered to do some work with her. He insisted on not getting paid until they found her work.

Tanya started meeting with him weekly, and felt very comfortable with the relationship that was forming. He was extremely charming and made her feel safe, all the while promising a bright future in modelling. After Tanya had been connected and completed her first few jobs he wanted to do a photo shoot at his studio apartment downtown. Tanya was really excited about the shoot. When she arrived at his apartment things seemed to be going as planned. At the end of the night when they were wrapping things up he started coming onto her sexually. He was very aggressive and forceful. Tanya was confused and started questioning what was going on. He told her that this was what she owed him for all the free work he had been doing for her. He didn’t give Tanya an option.

Tanya felt as though she didn’t have much choice or say as she didn’t want to mess up her new career.  This meant that the arrangement continued.