Kathryn (not her real name) arrived at the Mission after a short jail stay for prostitution.
She suffers from depression, low self-esteem, sexually transmitted diseases and years of lost education.
She told me that she was first abused by her father and then sold in online chat rooms when she was just 14.
She ran away later that same year and met a man who took her in and sold her daily on Craigslist and forced her to spend her remaining hours cleaning and caring for elderly people.
He would beat her with belts and chains if she didn’t do what he told her to.
After two years of living in this hell, she was rescued by the police and enrolled in a program for girls suffering from sexual trafficking and forced labor.
She explained that the program was too harsh so she escaped back to the streets where she has been for the last 3 years because this is where she feels at home and is able to find love.
Cases like these are sad.
More often than not, the trafficker is someone the girl (or boy) once felt close to.
Older men will often target lonely or unsuspecting young people and will convince them that they love them.
Often, the pimp will then ask his victim, who thinks he cares for them, to have sex with others just a “few times” or to “help them start a life together.”
This soon changes, as they are exploited and forced to have sex with many more men.
They are trapped, alone, and scared.
If you suspect a child is in a trafficking situation, it is very important that you report your concerns to the most appropriate authorities.
If you believe the child is in life threatening danger, you should contact 911 and clearly explain your concerns that this child is a victim of human trafficking.
Or you can contact the human trafficking hotline at 1-888-3737-888, the Silver City Gospel Mission at 575-388-5071 or Silver Regional Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) at 575-313-6203.
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