Megan*, a teenager, met a man online and travelled to another state to meet him. During their ‘relationship’, he got her addicted to heroin and then began trafficking her for sexual exploitation to various cities throughout the United States.
Megan’s mother said she felt frantic and helpless, she was in despair at what a trafficker was doing to her daughter. Then she found out about Hope for Justice, and contacted us.
She said: “The first call I got was from the investigator at Hope for Justice in Nashville. He was real positive about what I had sent him, and you know we had a case. I was very confident that they would keep digging and they would get justice.”
Hope for Justice investigators – a team of seasoned detectives with long careers in law enforcement – got to work. They followed a number of leads and managed to track down Megan and rescue her from this horrifying situation of exploitation and abuse. The investigation has now been turned over to federal law enforcement for prosecution.
We deal with many cases like Megan’s, where vulnerable young women are exploited into sex trafficking. They often get sucked into this world through false promises made by the traffickers, and are then kept compliant through threats, violence, drugs and deception.
Then when they come out a trafficking situation, they are often both psychologically and emotionally distraught. To be able to bridge that gap and give them the services that they need, whether that’s health care or rehabilitative care, is key to the success of turning the life around for the trafficked victim.
Megan’s mother said: “When I received a call that she was safe, words can’t explain it enough. I was so overwhelmed and so grateful that she didn’t die, and justice was going to be served.”
Talking to us later from the hospital where Megan was being treated for injuries inflicted on her by her trafficker, her mother wanted to pass along a personal message of thanks to everyone who supports Hope for Justice: “I couldn’t be more thankful for the people that keep this program going and donate to this program. And I will be donating. It’s going to take everybody.”
She also send an email back to our lead investigator on that case, calling him “an angel” and telling how thankful she was that Hope for Justice was there to rescue Megan.
*Name changed and stock image with model, to protect victim’s identity
More survivor stories:
Amaya was 14 when her family life went downhill and she was tricked into working at a Cambodian brothel. She was treated, she said, as if she wasn’t human. She was a slave.
Magdalene and each of her children were kept under lock and key. She was delivered every day to a factory where she worked gruelling 12 hour shifts. Every penny of her wages was paid into her trafficker’s bank account. Despite going without food herself, she still couldn’t feed her children with the meagre amount she was given.