What ultimately led to the creation of La Maison de Mélanie is a true story of sexual exploitation. It is the story of Melanie Carpentier herself, founder and director of La Maison de Mélanie. Having personally experienced suffering and distress as a result of sexual exploitation, she channeled her energy and knowledge to set up an organization that could offer concrete services to victims of sexual exploitation. She was acutely aware of the need for this type of organisation, having realised through her own experience that there was a distinct lack of services and resources designed specifically for the victims.

Energized by her past and determined to help others in need, Mélanie started planning the organization in 2005. Her first step was enrolling in university; in 2010, she graduated from the Université de Montréal with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, specializing in intervention. She became a member of the former Registry of Criminologists, and she pursued her studies in Criminology.

In terms of practical work experience, Mélanie worked for Correctional Service of Canada through federal, provincial, and community halfway houses. She also worked as an educator at the Centre Jeunesse de Montréal, and at Le Chaînon, a shelter for women in difficulty.

Author of the bestseller J’ai été une esclave sexuelle… Se sortir des gangs de rue published by Béliveau in 2013, Mélanie Carpentier is herself a survivor of the human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Thanks to her professional experience and her personal background, she has an unparalleled understanding of victims’ reality. The sex industry milieu and the entire universe that gravitates around it is no secret to her. As a result of her background and the assistance she provides every day to others, she is more than aware of victims’ needs, and of the shortcomings of services that currently exist to help them.

In March 2013, Mélanie realised her dream, and La Maison de Mélanie opened its doors.