Brian romanced her, quickly and smoothly. He’d surprise her at her job just to say hello. He learned her class schedule. His attention was absolute. “He was a dream come true of a boyfriend, for any girl,” Paige recalled.
She thought he was perfect; and for the first month, he was. But by the time he started withholding affection, she was ready to do anything to get it back. She wouldn’t understand his manipulation games until much later.
One day Brian persuaded her to audition for a modelling gig to make some extra money. He “happened” to know the guy who was looking for models. She was going to college and had a part-time job at a mall, but because he wanted her to do the modelling gig, she did.
Brian drove her to a hotel, gave her specific instructions then said he’d wait for her in the parking lot. “That should have been a red flag, but I didn’t see it as a red flag,” she said. That night was the first night Paige was sexually assaulted. What followed was months of drug-hazed sexual servitude. The man she thought was her boyfriend became her trafficker. She was 21 at the time.
Brian was trafficking another woman as well. One day, the women started overdosing and needed medical attention. The medical rescue exposed Brian, so Paige and the other woman were able to receive emergency assistance and support. Paige eventually went back home to her parents and tried to go back to a normal life.
Paige said she knows she is a survivor, but she doesn’t always feel that way. She feels a lot of shame and embarrassment. She was raised by conservative, Catholic parents, and was very innocent and Brian took advantage of that, promising her a life of travel, adventure, and independence.
Paige is now married, and says her husband knows about her past and has been supportive and understanding. One day she hopes to write a book and speak out to help others who have been trafficked.
“I’D WANT MY STORY TO HELP, EVEN IF IT’S JUST ONE PERSON,” PAIGE SAID.
Story sourced from the Naples Daily Metro. All pictures shown are for representation purposes only and are commercially available portraits. We have taken great care to change names and identifying details for Survivor’s confidentiality and protection