HUMAN TRAFFICKING SURVIVORS
Against All Odds!!
In her own words
It All Started with a
Jennifer, like many of the women she worked alongside on the streets of downtown Columbus, with a chaotic and abusive childhood, a history of violent and destructive relationships and a downwards spiral into street prostitution and drug addiction. Pimps had branded (Tattoed)her to show ownership. The side of her neck was marked with a black crown and words "King Munch" a gang leader who sold her to Salem another pimp, who marked her groin "Property of Salem".
This lifestyle took a toll on her and she was exhausted, starved, addicted and barely alive. She attempted to end her life, but the rope broke and she survived and managed to escape the streets into sobriety and recovery, but the tattoos remained and were a constant reminder of her life in Human Trafficking. Until her vision took root and she created "Survivors Ink", see link below. Her vision today is to help others go from the ashes to beauty by changing tatoo brands. From brands of ownership to brands of freedom. Today Jennifer is drug free, employed, active church member and an awesome mother. She is goal oriented and sets her sights on helping others escape the horrors of being branded. To see more information on changing the tatoos.
My name is Jessica, I am a 31 yr old mother of eight children. At the age of eight I found out I had been adopted by my ‘father’. This came as no surprise to me as I had always been treated different than my younger brother, especially as I got older and was subjected to years of verbal and physical abuse by the man who adopted me. I grew up in this abusive home with a mother who turned a blind eye to my torment. My adoptive father not only was abusive but he was also an alcoholic and drug addict. It wasn’t until I was 15 that I met my biological father for the first time. Naturally like anyone who has grown up not knowing their family history I was intrigued to learn more. My biological father only offered that he had been sold as an infant on the black market by his mother (which wasn’t exactly the truth) and claimed to know nothing of his background. It wasn’t until I was 30 that I learned my family’s hidden secrets. My father was indeed sold (along with some of his siblings) by his grandmother (not his underage mother who believed he was given up in a legal adoption) in an attempt to cover up the fact that she had been selling her own daughter for profit. I had only learned a few months prior what human trafficking is when I found out my own estranged ( I prefer to call him my ex) husband had sold his own girlfriend for a profit and support his drug addiction. It is not only my mission to ensure my eight children do not get caught up in this lifestyle, but to also ensure they are educated on the facts of human trafficking. In addition I want to help fight against human trafficking by promoting human awareness events to educate the public as well.
Jamie was a good student in high school, a cheerleader, and voted the community “Strawberry Queen”. She graduated and had two beautiful children. To ensure they had a secure and stable life she worked two jobs as an STNA Home Health Care Provider. One evening she felt she needed to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and decided to go out with her sister for a relaxing time and a few drinks. Little did she know, that night would change her life forever.
The two went to the bar to order a drink, soon her sister went off mingling with friends leaving Jamie at the bar by herself, when a couple of guys came up to her and started talking, complimenting and flirting. She thought it was harmless chit chat. One minute she was drinking and the next thing all she rememberd was waking up in a basement. She was repeatedly sold, raped and drugged with heroin and cocaine through injections in her feet. Then the day came when she was overdosed and was left for dead. "Somehow, I made it to the hospital where I was treated for STD’s and a rape kit was used to determine what all was done to me. The date rape drug “Rohypnol” took my dignity and pride, took my job and my children, took my health and my wealth and in exchange it gave me a multitude of lifelong health problems". Although, she may have been knocked down, pushed down, and kicked around, she still had a little bit of fight for life left in her. She is now working on getting her life together and and hopes that her ordeal will help others.