Mouse click can rescue, heal dozens of sex trafficked girls: Your help is needed

Julianne, Felicia and Marguerite* look like ordinary teens. They enjoy makeup, pretty dresses and occasionally cuddling with a teddy bear. They know all the current songs and movies and can articulate why they want to finish their education and get a college degree so they can get good jobs. They can be seen in serious moods when they are writing a play about choices and where each scenario is likely to take them in five years. Often, they can be observed laughing and giggling over some silly comments.

What you won’t see from the outside is the past from which they are healing. Families of origin that struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction form a common theme. Add to that various kinds of abuse, most encountered while they were still very young, and the stage was set for them to fall prey to the deceptive lies and physical coercion of sex traffickers who sold their bodies to numerous strangers every night. Physical abuse from both the pimps and the customers was the norm, and the psychological manipulations they used left deep tracks in the girls’ psyches.

These girls represent a few of the dozens of young ladies who have been residents atStreetLightUSA, a safe house and treatment center for teens who have been victims of child sex trafficking.

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Mouse click can rescue, heal dozens of sex trafficked girls: Your help is needed – 

Child sex abuse may lead to PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, sex trafficking

Rage and continual cursing in a child can be indicators of extreme abuse Credits:   Stock Xchange/GeoX

The vile, excoriating epithets fly from Brandi’s* mouth like daggers–well-aimed with intent to maim and mutilate. At times, she seems to delight in her expertise in causing verbal destruction. However, a careful observer can see beneath the surface to a scared little girl who desperately wants to be loved properly and consistently. Each scathing expletive that she hurls is akin to a jagged, shard-like iceberg tip that is a decoy for the mountain of submerged pain lying underneath the surface. The sheer volume of curses that emanate from her mouth gives credence to the immensity of the abuse she has experienced, both at the hands of those in the family circle and the strangers who bought and sold her for sex.

Barely 16, Brandi has probably had more sexual encounters than a happily married couple of two to three decades. Her history of abuse and sexual violation began when she was just a little girl and continued for numerous years. She has been a runaway from the violence at home countless times, only to be caught up in forced prostitution when she was on the streets. Within the custody of child protective agencies, she has been placed in group homes and foster care, but has run or been removed from all of them.

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Child sex abuse may lead to PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, sex trafficking 

 

Girls in recovery: Sex trafficking survivors moving from darkness to life

Abused, abandoned, or neglected, the young girls who are admitted to the StreetLightUSA center for sex trafficked minors are seeking affirmation and genuine love. These girls have been sexually exploited, either as payment for shelter and food, or as a commodity that is sold time after time for the financial gain of the pimp.

Girls are kept in a lifestyle of forced selling of their bodies through threats, intimidation, brute force and deception with promises of love and protection from those who may harm them. Hopelessness, despair, suicide attempts and self-destructive behaviors cover the feelings of shame, worthlessness, rage and fear that accompany such hostage situations. It takes determination and courage, and a tremendous amount of community support, for the these girls to work through the healing process and change their destinies.

Video: I will learn to love again by Kaci Brown

Read more:  Girls in recovery: Sex trafficking survivors moving from darkness to life

Moving from death to life, emptiness to fullness Photo credit: Holly Craw with Ravyn Crescent; Artwork done by the girls.

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