I grew up with a lot of trauma and abandonment issues from the age of 2 on. Drugs, alcohol and unhealthy relationships began at 13. As I got older I continued using, trying to hide all my feelings, and getting into one bad relationship after another. At 23 I got into a relationship with my trafficker and soon after signed over custody of my kids to family. I endured a lot of violent abuse and trauma during that time including exploitation. I became so sad, lost and hopeless that I tried taking my own life. After my trafficker was arrested, I had the opportunity to get away but it took several months of continued use of drugs.
This story is written by the daughter of a women who is currently in the Refuge for Women long-term care program:
"My older sister and I were abandoned by our mother when we were small children. We
were literally left at the babysitter. (I would later hear the story and understand why she
left ) I did not "meet" my mother until I was 15 as there was no contact during my
childhood at all. My dad was in prison for most of my life. During this time I was raised
by another relative. While in her home I was sexually abused by an uncle at the age of 7
until the age of 14. When I was 15 I came out about the abuse, and when I did not
receive the help and protection I needed, I reached out to my mom.
Many of our girls have been rescued at a very young age from the red-light district – before they were forced into sex slavery. Their mothers are the ones who are enslaved in brothels—they are the ones with horrific stories of abduction into the trade and of daily abuse thereafter.
This is true for Prema’s mom.
Generations ago, there was a Cambodian tradition for young girls that signified their transition into womanhood. They would literally be brought ‘into the shade,’ out of the scorching Cambodian sun for a period of several days or even weeks. During this time they were given skin treatments and all their needs were attended to by relatives while they focused on being taught the ways of womanhood by the elder women. When they ‘came out of the shade’ the community recognized them as a woman of marrying age.
An encouraging update from one of our partners, The Porch Light, on the incredible milestones they have achieved and several stories from staff members. Read more below:
Thanks to your support, young girls ages 12-17 continue to find rest and healing at The Porch Light Safe Home, located at an undisclosed location in Central Florida and registered with the Witness Protection Program. Your love is changing lives.
Envision an eleven-year female child, in 5th grade, playing with Barbie’s, sweet and innocent. Playing with the Barbie’s with no care in the world, believing in my Barbie world life is great, escaping from “things” going on in my real world, a mother with an addiction habit, a father who is not around. For that moment in time, all is good in my pretend little girl life... no one can hurt Barbie and me.
There are many complexities that go into rescue work, and although the problem can sometimes be overwhelming and complicated, we believe in action. And so does N2GIVES. As they help fund rescue work, freedom comes to the most vulnerable.
In April, we broke a rescue announcement where 7 girls were freed from forced prostitution in India, and 4 traffickers were arrested. Here is an inside look at operation TIGER.
Human Trafficking is a hidden crime, and often undefined or blurry in its definition.
We appreciate this helpful infograph clarifying what, who and where questions, developed by the Department of Human Safety through their Blue Campaign initiative.
A mother – trafficked to the United States – desperate to reunite with her young daughter. A 15-year-old sold by a parent to a brothel in Thailand. A girl enslaved at 13 years old in Washington.
Hearing these kinds of accounts is what drew the leaders of N2 Publishing to create the N2GIVES initiative last year. Now in its second year, the company plans to expand the program's footprint by donating more, and by extension, reaching a greater number of people in need.
Meet Esther*, the first survivor who got a job through Restore’s Economic Empowerment program.
Two years ago, before the program officially launched, Esther, a then-resident of our Safehome, expressed her need for safe employment.
Esther was a divorced mother and was desperate to reunify with her young daughter. She had been trafficked to the United States one year earlier with a group of women from her home country. “Eight women and one man,” she recalled. The man she traveled with forced her to work and kept her locked in a house with the other victims. Eventually, when her trafficker was away, she and one other woman escaped.
From a small community in Nepal, Sangita lived with her loving husband, Guna, and their precious four-year-old daughter, Alpa. The family resided on a tiny patch of land, less than 10,000 square feet. This amount of land is far too small to consider farming, and the community offers few other job opportunities. With no financial options, the concerned parents were unable to put Alpa in school. Like most mothers, Sangita loved her daughter so much that she would do anything to give her the best possible life. It is for this reason that Sangita decided to travel to the Middle East to find work, as many girls from her community had done.
"I heard from girls in my village how wonderful the Middle East was. My husband couldn't stop me. I was going to earn money for our family."
In 2009 there was a presentation on sex trafficking at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center – a relatively new topic to the general public at the time. The leader of a local church security team attended as a matter of continuing his education on the threats against the youth in his church. After the first general session, he called one of his associate pastors and said, “You need to come down here and hear this. Our kids are at risk and we know nothing about this!”
This is Neta’s story. A young mom of two adorable girls had experienced exploitation early in her life which impacted her life choices. From abusive relationships and domestic violence to trafficking, Neta felt her life was over.