There are an estimated 403,000 people living in modern slavery in the United States (GSI 2018). Sex trafficking exists throughout the country. Traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary, many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces them into prostitution. Others are lured with false promises of a job, and some are forced to sell sex by members of their own families. Victims of sex trafficking include both foreign nationals and US citizens, with women making up the majority of those trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. In 2015, the most reported venues/industries for sex trafficking included commercial-front brothels, hotel/motel-based trafficking, online advertisements with unknown locations, residential brothels, and street-based sex trafficking.
John was 4 years old when his father started selling him for sex. At the age of 16, he was abandoned on the street and forced to continue selling himself for sex to survive. He knew no different.
My dad started sexually abusing me when I was 4 years old. He sold me for sex. I grew up thinking this was normal. my mother was out of the picture. I lived with this abuse for 12 years. After a fight, my dad drove me 20 miles outside of town and left me. I was 16. Abandoned, homeless. I hitchhiked for hours to anew town where no one knew who I was. I did what needed to be done to survive, even being sold for sex. This was my normal, I knew nothing different.
Narrative provided and produced by Christy’s Cause
Original narrative can be found here