Does anyone care?
“Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.”
— Bishop Desmond Tutu
It all started so innocently for Kelly. She met him on the internet and they became friends.
They chatted all the time and got to know each other. He made her feel special. He sent her gifts. After a while, he told her he wanted to meet her in person. He convinced her to visit him. He even sent her a plane ticket so she could fly out to meet him.
She had no one in her life who cared enough about her to be concerned. No one warned her or told her to be careful. No one urged her not to go. No one noticed she was gone.
He met her at the airport, brought her home, and said he loved her. Then he raped her, turned her out, and forced her to sell herself to earn him money. She was shocked. She was afraid. She didn’t want to do it. But she had to; he made her; she didn’t have a choice.
One day, she managed to escape and run to the police. They sent her home by bus. Later, she testified in court and helped to put him behind bars.
She’s still trying to put her life back together, to make sense of what happened to her, and to convince herself that she’s not a bad person.
It wasn’t her fault that this happened to her. She didn’t deserve it.
The nightmares still occur from time to time. She’s afraid to be in big crowds. She’s afraid to be alone. She struggles with anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She’s not sure whom she can trust. Sometimes, she can’t believe this happened to her. She wonders if it was all a bad dream.
Recently, Kelly got word that her trafficker was released from prison. Now, she lives in fear that he’ll come looking for her; that he’ll want revenge. He knows where she lives. Maybe he’ll try to traffic her again. She looks over her shoulder. She doesn’t sleep. She wonders, why did this happen to me? Will this ever end? Does anyone care?
The acts of love demonstrated by The Salvation Army at The Well, New Home, and many other places prove that there are people who care about Kelly and the many other women, men, girls, and boys who have been victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
—by Lt. Colonel Patricia LaBossiere