'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.

"Many feel that because they went along with it, they are just as guilty for what happened to them. In order to break that thought pattern, we talk them through the experience and enable them to see that they are survivors; they didn't just go along with it. Being a part of something because you fear the loss of your life is much different than making an active choice."

Throughout the rehabilitation process, Samantha started dating the man who took her out of the strip club. It was her first serious relationship after being trafficked, and she found that learning to trust was a major obstacle for her. "I had to move past my fears that he was the type of guy who always picked up on dancers," she said. "I had to be sure that he really saw through me and cared about who I was inside, not just what I could give him sexually."

As for Samantha’s boyfriend, he too, had fears about their relationship that needed to be worked through. "He was afraid that I would start stripping again," she said, "and he became a bit possessive and overprotective of me, especially if we were out together in public and someone recognized me from the club."

There was one time in particular where a guy approached Samantha’s boyfriend and asked, "Do you know who this girl is? Do you know who you're out on a date with?"

"That's none of your business," he responded. "And she's not that person anymore."

Although they are no longer romantically involved, they are still in regular contact with each other, and remain friends. Samantha has since dated other men, and says it took her a while to start attracting the right type of guy. "At first, I was getting hit on by guys who were making sexual comments, trying to get me drunk, and pushing me to go farther than I wanted to physically. It took me a while to figure out what the red flags were and to run when I saw them."

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