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Taisia Scobeleva  

Mental Illness & Human Trafficking Survivor

Through a combination of real life experience, educational background and career endeavours, Taisia Scobeleva brings a unique perspective to the table.

Her family moved to Canada from Moldova when she was 5 years old. Her father was violently abusive to her as a child - which resulted in her developing Borderline Personality Disorder by the time she was 12 years old. Scobeleva was taken away from her family and put into foster care at the age of 14, where she began to use substances to cope. She also turned to self-harm, and was constantly in and out of the hospital getting stitches and being admitted to the psychiatric ward. She ran away from every foster home/group home she was put into. She was using meth and heroin by the time she was 15, and ended up homeless on the streets of Toronto. Her mental illness ultimately made me more vulnerable to sexual exploitation, and she was sold/trafficked in the sex trade by the age of 16. Scobeleva had dropped out of school, been to jail, and didn't see a future for herself.

However, after being diagnosed with BPD & doing a lot of her own work to start recovering, Scobeleva managed to get sober. Her story has been published in an anthology and has been featured in a campaign for "You Run Like A Girl". She was a guest on a Rogers TV talkshow called "Future Prospects" as well. She have spoken for organizations such as United Way of Toronto/York Region, the Department of Justice, the Children's Aid Society, and more. Scobeleva graduated college with a certificate in Criminal Psychology and Behaviour, and is also a graduate of the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute, which helped her start her own non-profit organization. She is the founder/executive director of The Borderline Project, a non-profit dedicated to providing comprehensive support to those with Borderline Personality Disorder. She also works for Aura Freedom International, where she works within the city of Toronto to prevent human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

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