'I Was Drugged And Forced To Do Porn': Surviving The Sex Trade

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woman in captivity
A look at how human trafficking victims fare in life and love after surviving the sex trade.

Samantha moved to Los Angeles when she was 24. Her dream was to have a successful modeling career, and she began pursuing her goal by attending casting calls that were advertised in the area. In the midst of her job hunt, she was contacted by a "modeling agency" that was interested in representing her.

Once she arrived at the photo shoot, they gave her some drinks, asked her to take a few topless shots, and then asked for her identification so that they could make copies for her file.

Everything after that, she says, is a blur.

These men had drugged her drink, and then proceded to beat and sexually assaulted her. Over the next few months, they forced her to work in the porn industry, and withheld all of her identification unless she did exactly what they said. They also threatened to send the topless photos they had taken to her family and friends if she wasn't cooperative.

It all came to an end one day while driving through the streets of Hollywood with her captors. "I started throwing one of my usual temper tantrums," she said. "I can be very strong willed, and very obnoxious when I went to be. And that day, my captors finally reached their limit and decided I wasn't worth dealing with anymore."

Samantha said they got angry, dropped her off in front of a strip club, and told her to fend for herself. She never saw them again after that, but she also had no money and nowhere to go. She went inside the club, asked if she could dance, and thus began the next phase of her life.

"I hated every minute of it," she said. "I kept telling myself I was going to stop stripping, but in reality, I didn't know how."

Her journey out of the sex industry and into the life she now leads today began, perhaps surprisingly, with two inanimate objects: The first was a cross necklace, and the second was a magazine.

Samantha was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and often wore a dangling cross hanging around her neck while she stripped. She saw it as a form of protection and comfort. One night, a group of men came into the club for a bachelor party, and one of them noticed her necklace. He asked her why she was wearing it, and after listening to her answer, he wrote his phone number down on a piece of paper.

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