Katie Escaped Her Trafficker At 16 Years Old And Found Healing And Restoration

I’m Katie, I’m 23 years old and I’m from Michigan.  Before I got to the Dream Center, life wasn’t very good. 

I started doing drugs, heroin, when I was 16 and I started dating a major heroin dealer.  I just got into a really bad relationship and a really bad state in my life.

I began prostituting and couldn’t escape from my pimp, I just had no way out of that life.  I thought I was stuck forever in my addiction; that I’d never be able to escape. 

He started locking me in hotel rooms and started verbal, physical, and mental abuse and it was hard to get away from. 

He’d go to jail and he’d get out and be the same thing.  I thought that I loved him but I think I was just in love with the drugs that he sold to me.

Forced or coerced use of drugs and alcohol is frequent in sex trafficking.

I ended up running away from the hotel room for a week and eventually had to leave the city and go somewhere else. 

Because they were constantly trying to find me, I came to Phoenix and my sister-in-law told me about the Dream Center and then I came here.

The Phoenix Dream Center has served over 300 trafficking survivors since 2008

She gives a big smile and a non-verbal giggle!!

I had been doing heroin for so long that I didn’t know what my life would be like without doing it.  Trying to imagine being a sober, normal person and getting out of that lifestyle was so hard but this place has saved my life.  If it weren’t for here, I probably would be dead.  I know I’d be dead. 

Homicide rates for women in sex trafficking are 51 times higher than working in a liquor store, which has the 2nd highest workplace homicide rate among women.

This program literally started to save my life.  They have given me so many amazing opportunities and resources.  You won’t find anywhere else like this. 

They provide everything you need.  You don’t have to stress here; you literally can just sit back and think, ‘okay, what did I do with my life and now where do I want to be.’

I want to start going to school to be a veterinary assistant. I’m going to start working part-time when I don’t have school and I’ll start training at animal shelters.  I love animals.  (big smile and shoulder shrug)