We are real. Our stories are true. We are Survivors.
To hear more from brave Survivors, follow us on Instagram for "Survivor Sunday."
"Hi, my name is Cindy. I was born and raised in Costa Rica. I have two kids; one son and one daughter. When I was 22, I met an american girl in my country. We met at work and eventually became roommates. Rapidly she ended up knowing all of my friends, my family and my children father's family. But, she moved back to America when her daughter turned 4. She invited me to visit her and offered me $1000 to babysit her daughter for 10 days. Bought me a ticket to come here and paid my visa.
I arrived in 2010 in D.C. My life changed in a split of a second. The person who picked me up showed me two pictures of my kids, one of them at school and one at home. She told me to please her friends and than my kids were going to be just fine. That's when it all started.
Three and a half years ago No more Tears USA offered help. Provided me with services I couldn't get because of my immigration status in this country. This organization has paid my Residence Process, paid bills when I couldn't do it, and provided health services. But most importantly, always made sure I know I'll never be alone again and that I am important as a person. That I am a Human-being. They helped me find my voice. My way to speak my truth and to share to others my knowledge about how human sex-trafficking works. Today I am a survivor advocate working on the front lines to end modern-day slavery. Today I know, I will never be silenced again.“
"Hi, My name is Emily, I’m a survivor of sex trafficking. I was trafficked from a young age by those meant to love and protect me the most, my Mother & Step-Father. In the beginning, I continued going to school. I even played basketball and went to church. As my injuries became harder to hide, I began to miss school more and more. At age 14, I was pulled out of school and the trafficking became my entire life, all day every day.
At age 18, I escaped. I moved and found a new place. A place to start over. After I had escaped my traffickers, I didn’t know how to begin to process the trauma. In fact, it took me almost 8 years to even begin to seek therapy.
I had always dreamt of freedom from the abuse, and when that became my reality, I kind of just thought the pain would end there. Trauma doesn’t work that way though and it was a long road and a dark road to healing, but the one thing I want to say is that there IS healing from the darkness of abuse. For so long that was something I couldn’t bring myself to believe. I felt so much guilt, pain and shame from all that I endured and the idea of healing, truly healing, seemed impossible to me.
Every day is different. There are good days and there are bad days, but the truth is that you are so much stronger than you know. Your strength is the light within that keeps you fighting. The spark that keeps your heart beating and that voice that you hear that says 'Yes, I can do this. Yes, I can get through this. I’m now in the finishing stages of writing a memoir, to highlight the prevalence and importance of more awareness.
I’m an artist and the shame and guilt was never mine to bear. It belongs to the abuser."