The crime of human trafficking, told through the eyes of victims.

These are survivor-informed lived experiences, composite narratives of real-life situations and events.


People who are or were exploited by a trafficker.


Based on information received from experts who have lived experience with human trafficking.


Daniela hoped for a better life.

An account of labor trafficking in the hospitality industry.

I started an online relationship with a man from the U.S.

who visited me and my two daughters in Venezuela. He brought flowers and took us all out to nice dinners. He even helped with the bills and he was so nice to my girls. I always wanted a father-figure for my girls.

Traffickers are experts at finding vulnerabilities and exploiting them.

When my boyfriend said he had a job for me in Colorado working at a motel he owned, it seemed like a dream come true. He moved us in with him, and we planned to get married. Soon after we arrived, he started all of us cleaning rooms at the motel. He didn’t pay us, but I felt it was okay because I felt I owed him.

Feeling indebted to a trafficker is common, and it is a deliberate manipulation on the part of the trafficker to make their victim feel this way.

Over time he started to get angry with me and said I was stupid for believing he loved me. He said if I tried to leave or get help nobody would believe me. He said I would lose my girls.

These are all statements from the trafficker meant to coerce Daniela into staying under his control. Verbal abuse, such as getting angry, making threats, or calling somebody derogatory names, is a form of psychological coercion.

He has all of our identification, our passports and everything.
I am ashamed for believing his lies and I am scared for my girls, too.

This is a form of coercion because Daniela is trapped in her situation against her will. Without her personal identification she feels she cannot escape or go back to her home country.