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Throughout her childhood, Rachel suffered through being sold for sex repeatedly. She experienced constant abuse, neglect, and malnourishment.

 

When Rachel was in her early teens, she was taken into Child Protective Services. Tragically, her case managers failed to understand, address, or even acknowledge the depth and complexity of Rachel’s trauma after a childhood of sex trafficking. Acting out on her trauma, Rachel continually ran away from, or was kicked out of, group homes for bad behavior.

 

Once out on her own – but still not an adult – Rachel fell back into a cycle of abuse. It was all she’d ever known, and so she was drawn to men who physically, emotionally, and sexually abused her. Eventually, Rachel found herself pulled back into sex trafficking when her boyfriend couldn’t pay his bills, and he forced her to have sex with other men. The situation was excruciatingly familiar.

 

Although she managed to escape this abusive relationship, Rachel wound up homeless, and extremely vulnerable to being sexually exploited over and over again.

 

Receiving services through a local non-profit helped Rachel get back on her feet. She worked hard to make sure she never had to go back to “the life” or become homeless ever again. Rachel had never finished high school, but through tutoring services and studying hard, Rachel earned her GED. Now she is working toward college.

“NO ONE CAN EVER TAKE MY EDUCATION AWAY FROM ME.”

--RACHEL

Story sourced from the Polaris Project.. 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