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.Jamie was kidnapped from her home by three men and forced into commercial sexual exploitation. She was subjected to rape and sexual violence every day
My name is Jamie. I'm 15 from a small town. My dad passed away a few years ago, so it's just me and my mom. Things are tough. We don't have a lot of money and I know it stresses my mom out. We don't even get to eat everyday. I was in the ninth grade but I dropped out to get a job. Life is pretty bad and I didn't know it could get worse. This is my story.
I was alone outside of my house one day and three men came out of nowhere and grabbed me, forced me into a truck, and started driving away. I fought as hard as I could, but It wasn't enough. My heart was beating so fast. I was terrified. It's all a little blurry but then the truck stopped, and the men brought me into an apartment.
There was a woman there. She was kind and convinced me to stay. She told me that she would help me get a job and she would help me get back home. But she never let me leave the apartment. Eventually the first man came to my room. Then I realized why I was taken here in the first place. I was forced to have sex with strangers. Men came into my room. Sometimes more than 10 a day. Some were old, some smelled, most of them were rough. But I was forced to do what they wanted and told not to cry.
I hated them. I wanted to kill every single one of them for doing this to me. I missed my mother. She hadn't heard from me in a month. She had no idea where I was. Nobody knew where I was. All I remember thinking was, "Is this really my life? No one's gonna look for me here."
Narrative provided by The Exodus Road