(From the Department of Homeland Security)
Tonya spent night after night in different hotel rooms, with different men, all at the command of someone she once trusted. She was held against her will, beaten and made to feel like she had no other option at the time, all by the man she thought she loved.
She felt she deserved it. Tonya felt she couldn’t escape. Afraid and confused, she thought the emotional and physical abuse she endured was her own doing. She thought maybe she was just stuck in a bad place in her life. Tonya (a pseudonym) was a victim of human trafficking. “He made me feel like I was doing it because I loved him, and in the end, we’d have a really good [financial] reward,” Tonya said.
When Tonya was 13, she met Eddie (a pseudonym) at the apartment she was living in with her mother in the Dallas, Texas, area. His estranged wife was the property manager. Tonya was classmates with Eddie’s stepdaughter, so the two would often see each other at the apartment and in the local grocery store. It was there that the two first exchanged numbers. Read More......