“Do you really think there’s hope for me? I’m a ‘bad kid’.” This is what a 15 year old recently said to me during a rescue operation. She had been with us for about 45 minutes in a safe room away from the traffickers who were being arrested. She went on to tell me that she had ran away from home because her dad would get drunk and beat her. Shortly after running away she met a man who said he would take care of her. Even though he was much older than her, he made her think he was her boyfriend and wanted to create a family with her. Not long after he convinced her that he cared he started to tell her lies like she wasn’t good enough for him and he cost her a lot of money.
He told her she could go back to her abusive father who never even came looking for her or she had to start ‘earning her keep’. She felt like she was in a horrible situation with no hope of ever being able to live free from abuse. The man and her father had both told her she was ‘bad’ and was an inconvenience to them. These are some of the lies that a trafficker will use to manipulate girls and boys. Traffickers use all the typical modes of force, fraud and coercion. Some of the survivors during this rescue operation told us, “he made me feel like he actually loved me like he was my boyfriend”. Another girl said, “he threatened to tell my parents and I was scared they would disown me.” Another girl told the story that her trafficker had forced her to steal items from the local grocery store and if she ever told anyone what he was doing he would turn her in and she would go to jail.
While the girls rescued in this operation have a long road ahead of them in their healing process, I am so happy to report that they are in a safe aftercare home now. This specific girl sleep in a safe home tonight away from her abusive father and her trafficker. We continue to do follow-up care with the girls and I’m happy to report to you she is doing very well! She knows she has a lot to work through, but she also knows she is not a ‘bad kid’ and there are people that are showing her true love. The life of each individual is precious. We wanted to share this story with you so you would know another life you’ve had an impact on. Thank you for supporting this 15 year old and helping her know true love!
O.U.R. Aftercare Director