I’ll never forget the day when a loud knock on the hotel door changed my life. It wasn’t the typical man wanting to use my body. Instead, it was an officer, dressed in street clothes, and a woman who I later learned was something called a victim advocate.
They said someone from the hotel reported suspicious activity and asked if I was safe. I didn’t know what to say or how to respond. They knew something wasn’t right and asked if I would be willing to come with them and talk.
They walked me down the back stairs and into the hotel office. They didn’t try to take me anywhere, or ask me personal and probing questions. Instead, the victim advocate gave me some snacks and a soda. I didn’t recognize it at the moment, but it was the first time I had felt safe in a very long time.
As the night progressed, the officer made numerous phone calls to what seemed like a whole web of people who seemed interested in helping me. From a forensic nurse to a residential home. So many organizations came together to make sure I was safe and removed from my step-dad who had been selling me for sex for years.
It was through this invisible web, this collaboration of people and services, where I was able to begin my new journey of healing and life outside of the life I had always known.
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The Collaborative to End Human Trafficking works to provide training, expertise, and connections in the community, so that survivors of human trafficking like Sophia can get the comprehensive help and care they need and deserve, to recover and heal from their experience.
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