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.
Wished for someone to love her.
An account of sex trafficking and organized crime.
I know you saw me at the gas station.
You didn’t like how I looked, what I was doing. What you didn’t see is what I was like before. Before I met him.
We met on Kik, and started chatting. He was the first guy who paid any attention to me. He told me how pretty I was. How much he loved me. How nobody understood our relationship.
Traffickers often troll online dating and social media sites to lure victims with the hope of a romantic relationship.
I told him all about my mom’s drinking, and the guys she brought home, and how I just wanted to go to California and swim in the ocean. He said we could do that, if we saved money.
A trafficker will pick up on any vulnerability and use it to manipulate a victim.
Here, the trafficker is laying the groundwork to trap Elena. He makes fraudulent promises about their future together, and begins to coerce her.
He moved me into an apartment with a lot of other girls around my age. He took us to parties and told us to be nice to the guys there. He asked me to have sex with his friends at the parties so we could have money to go to California.
This is coercion and fraud. The trafficker is selling Elena for sex and keeping the money. He controls her with false promises of going to California
I did it because I loved him. The other girls were doing it, too. It seemed normal. Now he says I’m used up, and I don’t make him any money because nobody wants me.
The trafficker shames Elena, damaging her mental health. She may need help getting away from the trafficker and getting help for herself.
I still love him and don’t know what to do.
Elena doesn’t understand that she is a victim of human trafficking and, like many other victims, doesn’t have the language to report it or know how to get help.