This Is Real – Ashley*, Age 16

This is our place to be heard. We want to share our stories with you because maybe it will change your idea of who we are. People think that trafficking only happens “over there” in far away places. But it happens here too, and it has happened to us. We want to share with you a piece of our journey so that maybe you can understand what we’ve been through, hear our hopes and dreams, and spread the word that there are a lot of us out there still who need help.

We want everyone to know this is serious. They think it’s something little. But it’s not. It’s a big deal. These are girls whose lives are in jeopardy on a daily basis. And it’s time for people to be aware of what’s going on.

This is very common: Take a guy. A smart guy. He manipulates a girl into believing she should sell herself. He offers love, money, clothes, hair, nails, material things. He offers her safety and to be taken care of when no one else will. “Your mom’s not there for you, I’ll be there for you,” he says. It’s not her fault that she needs that love. It’s like an empty place that must be filled. He promises her that he can fill that void. It’s not the girls fault.

If you are a girl reading this it is not your fault. You were in need of something and someone offered it to you. You were manipulated, you were misled. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. You don’t deserve to be treated like this. You think that he loves you but once you have sex with him he tells you, “You have sex for free, you might as well get paid for it.” That’s a lie. It’s not just about having sex. That is a manipulation of your heart. And that’s sad. That’s degrading. You are beautiful, intelligent, smart, successful young ladies with a lot to offer to the world. Don’t settle for less. Don’t buy the lies he sells cause they are cheap. Believe in yourself and be who you are, not who someone else tells you to be. Only you control your destiny. So take hope and live your dream.

*In order to protect the individuals that Saving Innocence serves, client names have been replaced with pseudonyms

One Response to “This Is Real – Ashley*, Age 16”

  1. Lucinda April 23, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

    Wow! Well said!!!

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