FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

London, ON, May 9, 2017– The StandUp SpeakUp podcast releases part one of its series “Finding Shelley Desrochers” today. Shelley Desrochers has been missing since January 2016 and is one of three women who lived a “high-risk lifestyle” to disappear from London, Ontario, Canada in the last decade.

Host and producer Karla Stephens-Tolstoy launched StandUp SpeakUp as a way of personalizing social issues and bringing them to the public’s attention. Upon hearing Shelley’s story, Stephens-Tolstoy felt it needed to be shared. “Finding out that a missing person was involved in the sex trade can lead to a public stigma, but these women are more than just sex-workers. They are real people,” said Stephens-Tolstoy. “Shelley’s story is not unique. Canada’s foster care system failed her, as it has many others, and I hope that by sharing these stories we can play a role in bringing about change.”

The series features exclusive interviews with Shelley’s friends and family, a look at what’s being done to keep sex workers safe, and a talk with crime expert Mike Arntfield.

Attention from the podcast has already led to an anonymous donor financing billboards to be placed around London with Shelley’s photo, seeking tips.

The podcast can be found at https://standupspeakup.podbean.com as well as on the Apple Store.

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If you would like more information, please contact Karla Stephens-Tolstoy at ceo@tokii.com.

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