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2018 (Narrative date)

There are an estimated 403,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the United States (GSI 2018). Sex trafficking is a form of modern slavery that exists throughout the United States. Traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary, many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces them into prostitution. Others are lured with false promises of a job, and some are forced to sell sex by members of their own families. Victims of sex trafficking include both foreign nationals and US citizens, with women making up the majority of those trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. In 2015, the most reported venues/industries for sex trafficking included commercial-front brothels, hotel/motel-based trafficking, online advertisements with unknown locations, residential brothels, and street-based sex trafficking.

Lauren was a teenager when she was tricked in to prostitution by a purported movie producer who said she would be able to make $20 million. Lauren was trafficked across the country and was not allowed to keep any of the money.

He said that I would make $20 million from the documentary, and that I was… if porn was legal, then escorting and prostitution should be legal too. And that once it aired or whatever, that I would – and all the other girls – would get $20 million each.

When I met them I was senior. I was a gymnast and I was doing gymnastics. I wouldn’t say I was a shy person in high school but I didn’t really talk about relationships or anything and so I just kind of when on there to meet people and possible find a relationship. Who knows?

I can’t remember what she really, like, said exactly. But I know she was just friendly and kind of pursuing in some way. That she was a nice respond and actually genuinely cared and wanted to get to know me.

At first they treated me very well, David bought me things and bought coffee and just treated me like a friend, I should say. Like a good friend who you would think was a nice person. They took me to like hotels and stuff just for fun at the beginning. I just thought that ‘Oh, I’ll have a lot of money and I’ll be around people who cared about me’. I just thought that sounded great.

Maybe a month after meeting them, it kind of got to the point where they slowly introduced the whole escorting or prostitution phase – whatever you want to call it.

I think I was kind of just in shock and I didn’t really know what to think of it, and I just wanted to be cared about and I wanted a person to care about me and to be loved. So at that point, I just didn’t really know what to do. I think it was five or six months after living with them, in November of 2014, I erm called my mom. She obviously jumped on it – was like ‘Oh, you want to come home, great!’ and she knew that I needed to get out of the situation.

They were not there at the time so that’s how I got out. They had scheduled some man to come over that night. But I had decided before that person comes over that I was gonna get on it and actually leave. So that’s was I did.


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