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Abandoned by her father in early childhood, Mary was left with a mother whose love for drugs would ultimately become stronger than her love of her two children. “My life before being trafficked consisted of me knowing that I needed to learn how to take care of my little brother by watching how our foster care family took care of him,” Mary said.

 

Eventually Mary’s mother would regain custody of her children but would ultimately relapse again. “When I was 5, we moved in with her drug dealer, my trafficker,” Mary said. “He gained complete control over my mom, eventually turning her into my trafficker, too.”

 

The dealer supplied drugs to her mother in exchange for time with Mary. Initially he made child pornography involving Mary, taking pictures and videos of her that he would sell online. That later morphed into sex trafficking — something Mary would endure for the next nine years.

 

Mary's trafficking finally ended when the Department of Children & Family Services conducted a regular assessment of the home in which she was confined. “It didn’t take long for them to realize that the drugs in our house wasn’t the only thing I needed to be saved from,” she said.

 

“I was 13, drugged, scared and in the back bedroom where I was trafficked so many times. I was finally freed that day.” Mary was placed with a foster family who later adopted her. “I got to feel real love with a new family, one I am safe with,” she said.

 

“My childhood was ruined and my soul was crushed, but I am a survivor, one who chooses to let my childhood experiences help others instead of breaking me down.”

“MY CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES ARE NOW A TESTIMONY, TO SPREAD AWARENESS ON FAMILIAL SEX TRAFFICKING AND TO KEEP IT FROM HAPPENING TO SOMEONE ELSE.”

Story sourced from American Press. 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