By: Sara Kim
Edited by: Sharon E. Chin
Sex trafficking is a silent crime where the voices of victims are not often heard. In order to combat the silence, Linda chose to speak out about her own experiences as a sex trafficking victim. Linda, whose name has been changed for safety reasons, had been trafficked for 14 years in Iowa where she was forced into filming child pornography films. Linda and her twin sister were raised by her traffickers, and were told that their mother died during childbirth. She never had a real sense of family, nor did she have people to protect her from the abuse she faced everyday.
Linda’s earliest memories were of her being raped, which occurred when she was two years old. Some men took her into a bathroom and filmed her having sex with them. Ever since then she had been raped continuously and filmed for child pornography without her consent. She even helped the perpetrators traffic other children; her worst memory was watching babies get raped for porn.
The Chrysalis Foundation is an organization that seeks to give a voice to trafficking victims in Iowa. The foundation works with Clear Channel to raise billboards informing the public about the reality and the dangers of sex trafficking. They also aim to persuade their audience to write to state and federal lawmakers, asking them for more support with law enforcement training about sex trafficking and in punishing the perpetrators. Terry Hernandez of the Chrysalis Foundation points out that people, and especially those in law enforcement, do not recognize the magnitude of the crime. Linda agrees with the statement from the perspective of a victim, as she says, “I think that that’s the real tragedy of trafficking. You have to live with this your whole life and the people who do it just walk away.
Sara (Da Som) Kim is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes.
Reference: Brilbeck, Aaron. “Victim of Iowa Sex Trafficking Speaks Out.” Who TV. May 15, 2015. URL: http://whotv.com/2015/05/15/victim-of-iowa-sex-trafficking-speaks-out/. Date accessed 5/17/15.
Photo Credit: Ausburn, Deborah.