Linda lived in a home full of fighting and drug abuse. At 13 years old, she was looking for a way out. A man contacted her on Facebook, and Linda didn’t mind the attention. He started grooming her online and soon he convinced her to run away with him.
The night that she decided to run away with him, he took her to a truck stop and sold her virginity to a trucker. Linda never saw her Facebook “boyfriend” again. She became that trucker’s slave. He sold her at various truck stops across his route.
One day, at one of the truck stops, someone noticed that this situation looked off. They called the police. The police were able to intervene and rescue Linda.
The aftercare home that Linda is receiving support from is one of O.U.R.’s partnering aftercare homes. O.U.R. has been honored to assist in the remodel of their transition center to provide a more therapeutic environment for the moment survivors arrive.
Before an operation takes place, the home is prepared for victims that are about to be rescued. O.U.R. Aftercare has assisted in the preparation process for previous rescues while our operations team works with local law enforcement to arrest the traffickers.
Our aftercare team was recently able to visit Linda. One of the volunteers that accompanied our team was able to positively connect with Linda. Our volunteer had been through some sexual abuse when she was younger and she was able to share her story with Linda and help her see how she overcame this trial. Her story gave Linda hope.
When they asked Linda what she wanted to be when she was older, she said that her dream is to become a police officer. She said,
“I was a lost girl and police officers came for me. I want to take those tools and learn those skills and go in to rescue other lost girls…that’s what I want to do with the rest of my life.”
The good news is that Linda will be able to be reunited with her parents. Her aftercare home has worked with her parents by doing in-home counseling. Since then, Linda’s parents have stopped abusing drugs and are working on preparing their home so that Linda can come back and live with them.
It is important to be aware of the signs of trafficking so that you can recognize dangerous situations. Someone knew the signs, and as a result, the police were able to rescue Linda. We are grateful for our law enforcement heroes who were involved in this case and helped Linda to a safe place. If you are interested in learning more and participating in our free online training, please visit ourrescue.org/training.
For further information on how to be safe online, read 3 Tech Settings You Need to Protect Your Kids Online.
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