Defend Dignity was launched by National Women’s Ministries of The Christian & Missionary Alliance in 2010. Glendyne Gerrard was the National WM Director at the time and had been challenged by then President Dr. Franklin Pyles to address a justice issue affecting Canadian women. Through research, Glendyne was drawn to the issue of sexual exploitation. She was introduced to Trisha Baptie, a formerly exploited woman from Vancouver, BC. Trisha began to send Glendyne more research, studies and videos which prompted Glendyne to invite Trisha to present to the National Women’s leadership team. This was a defining moment as the team prayed, reflected and deliberated on all they heard. It was decided to form a small sub-committee to plan next steps as all were convinced that this was an issue that the church needed to understand and respond to. This committee wrote the official statement on sexual exploitation for The C&MA and launched awareness initiatives with the churches of The C&MA. The committee also chose the name “Defend Dignity” based on Psalm 82:3,4. These initiatives were video driven along with presentations made at each District Conference in 2011. C&MA churches were eager to learn more and so Information Forums began to take shape. These Forums gained momentum as it became apparent that Canada’s prostitution legislation was being challenged (Article - Bedford vs. Canada). Churches were eager to learn how to engage on this issue.
With the growing demand for information, the need to educate the public on the realities of exploitation, Glendyne left her role as National Director of Women’s Ministries in order to give full time direction to Defend Dignity in 2012.