Victim of Sex Trafficking Speaks Out
A young woman who was victimized as a teenager by child sex traffickers and turned to the FBI for help talks about escaping the streets and looking to the future. "They had my past but not my future," she said.
It’s happening here. I can tell you right now there’s a hotel right down the street where it happens. I’ve seen women walk—I think part of it’s a highway—There’s women walking...So it happens everywhere... It could be your neighbors next door.
Every year, thousands of children and teens are victimized by sex traffickers.
My name is Alexandria and I’m 21.
Alex, a victim of child sex trafficking, was recovered by the FBI and helped put her pimps behind bars.
So I got very lucky to be able to walk away with it with no arrest, no kidnapping, nothing... I never got hurt, so I’m lucky, really really lucky. I’m one of the few that can say that.
At age 16, facing problems at home, Alex found herself on the street.
It didn’t appeal, it was more of desperation…you can’t feed yourself, you know, you learn quickly but the only people who are willing to really feed you, clothe you, shelter you, are your parents. So, I had to figure something out...
At first it was terrifying…and then you just kind of become numb to it. Not like an alter ego but just like a different person, you put on a whole different attitude... I felt empty. You are at the bottom of the bottom. And you have nobody to go to for help or for a hug. There’s nobody...
Many victims of child sex trafficking believe there is nowhere to turn for help.
I called everybody, I need help, I called my family, I called all my friends, I called everybody I knew and nobody picked up.
Eventually, Alex called the FBI. The FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force arrested Alex’s pimps, whose multiple victims included underage girls.
If I could say one thing… from my experience and what I know, and I think it was kind of my saving grace, is…they can take everything from you; your voice, your freedom, they can take your fight and will, your everything. But you cannot ever let them take your heart; you have to always keep fighting.
Bad things happen, worse things than what have happened to us, all over the world, and people seem to keep going through it and living on and living life. The important thing is to try and turn every negative into a positive and make something good out of it.
They don’t have you anymore, they can’t hurt you, and you have a power now to wipe them out. The strongest thing that we have isn’t in our fists or—it’s our words, it’s what we say, it’s what we do. So, fight.
The FBI Office for Victim Assistance helped Alex get the resources she needed.
I try to not let it run my everyday—it brings me down. Sometimes I’ll think about everything and I’ll cry... but it happened and I can’t change it. I can only change my future. That’s it. They had my past, but they don’t have my future.
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