Cheri - Survivor of Human Trafficking

I am a survivor of sex trafficking, and it happened to me in Kittery, Maine 37 years ago. Back then we didn’t know anything about exploitation, and so it wasn’t until I came home after a lot of years, pretty much in hiding, that I learned about human trafficking through my church.   I was raped at 14 by the guy next door who was considerably older than me. When I got pregnant by him, he used my daughter as leverage to keep me under his control and his threat was that, you know, harm would come to her if I tried to escape or if I didn’t do what they wanted me to do.  So, I was trafficked all over the country for 3 years.   When I finally escaped I never wanted to come back because, my initial trafficker was my daughter’s father. So when I finally came home, I met Alison, she helped me start working on those childhood issues. And when she heard my story, I described it as prostitution. Because they fool you into thinking that it was all your choice.  For so long, I thought that I was just a messed up human being. When I learned that there was a name and that nobody really chooses this, I started writing my story. And 9 months after I  discovered I was trafficked, I went public with my story at my church.  It was resourcefulness that allowed me to survive for as long as I have, and I consider myself a resource for other survivors. I don’t have any other choice. If somebody doesn’t do something about this it just leaves it a senseless crime, and I am not ok with that. I don’t want to see women floundering or walking through life like a zombie. Not getting healing. Not understanding the truth of what happened to them.