Trafficking Where You Least Expect It



When I share my story with others, the fact that usually gets the most shock is that I was trafficked by a family member. For a large portion of my life, it was those who were supposed to take care of me, protect me, and love me that instead left me vulnerable and alone, hurt me, and perverted what the word "love" meant. Unfortunately, the shock people feel is not because this is uncommon. In fact, during Shelter in Place, Safe House Project partners reported that 51% of child trafficking victims were trafficked by family members, having risen from 40% prior. Both of these numbers are shocking, maddening, and outright unacceptable.


So what does the life of a child being trafficked by a family member look like? For me, it was not what people expect. While some children are held captive physically, I was held captive by a trauma bond with my trafficker. A trauma bond, formerly known as Stockholm Syndrome, is a bond that occurs between a victim and their abuser due to a rep