Illinois: Changing minds and hearts in the Heartland.
In 2012, The Ugly Truth was piloted in Illinois as part of the larger End Demand Illinois (EDI) campaign to transform the state’s legal and social responses to prostitution. Developed through a partnership between Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) and The Voices and Faces Project, The Ugly Truth was created in the wake of a two-year listening project, during which Illinois-based survivors of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation shared their stories of being in “the life.” They also expressed concerns about a troubling media-perpetuated narrative: that prostitution is glamorous, not often dangerous, and most often a woman’s choice. “My reality is very different from what you see on TV,” noted a survivor who shared her story with The Ugly Truth creators. “It’s time to challenge these myths with something that comes close to my truth.”
The Illinois Ugly Truth campaign ran in 2012 and 2013, with primary funding from NoVo Foundation. Additional media support came from Kemery Bloom and Chicago’s Lakshmi Foundation