“I think we have to see it. I think a lot of times people are really shocked that this is happening to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, because we think it happens over there, wherever ‘over there’ is,” said Emily Lafferrandre, director of education and advocacy for the Denver non-profit prax(us). “It’s not a cookie cutter situation. Every person’s survivorship, every person’s path to success, is very different.”
Their rescue is only the beginning of their story. They have their own set of challenges, stemming from their young age. Since many are teens, experts say they usually don’t have the skills to cope with the trauma in their past. At the same time, though, their age can also be their greatest asset.
Advocates believe those young survivors should be constantly reminded of that strength, as part of their healing. “I think it’s important to acknowledge the strength of a survivor– that you are in this really difficult, traumatizing, exploitative situation. Yet in some way, you found a way to survive, you found a way to live and that is worthy of respect,” Lafferrandre said.
Learn more at the 9 News article: Sex trafficking survivors face tough future.