Roller Coaster of a Ride
“From her early teens to mid-twenties, all she knew was a life of beatings, rape, abuse, drugs, and survival. In a moment of desperation for her, someone called law enforcement and reported her abusive trafficker. Hours later, her trafficker was finally arrested. As she gathered her things to leave, she picked up a stack of photos and a business card from her sponsor fell to the ground. There it was—a flicker of hope. She and her sponsor picked up the phone and called Rescue Houston. Our Hotline Advocates and an Exit Team coordinated a rescue for her within a couple hours, and she was transported to a safe place to begin navigating all that she’s experienced with our support. The following weeks were a roller coaster—mentally, physically, medically, and of course, spiritually. But after 25 days, she entered a safe home program to find true freedom from her past and walk in new life!”
In February, I shared a story about a wonderful young lady I worked closely with for a month. I’m sharing it again, but also wanted to let you, our partners, in on some of the challenges that both she and I faced on this journey. The journey a survivor of sex trafficking takes is a very difficult one, and often, it feels like it would be much easier for them to give up.
My job is not to save them or keep them from making this choice, it is simply to guide and encourage them on their path. Make no mistake, this journey is a rocky one. Many survivors go back to the life multiple times, and all contemplate going back to the life throughout their journeys.
For most of them, the sex industry, or the life, is the only thing they know, like the young lady described above who was on the streets by 15 years old, and in the life for nine years. Their commitment to leave and come receive services with Rescue Houston is a very humbling experience. Her commitment specifically, was so inspiring! Many things came in opposition against her—unhealthy relationships, her family situation, her health, drugs, even job opportunities. But through it all, she stayed so focused on the goal and succeed in getting into a 12-month safe home program. It takes so much sacrifice to give up all they know to stay in a program that is not comfortable or familiar. This is what makes the journey a roller coaster. If you made it this far reading, thank you for caring enough about survivors of sex trafficking! They truly need our prayers to keep going each day. Please take a moment to lift them up—they always need strength, endurance, opportunity, peace and rest.