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

By

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

According to Stephanie Pollaro, this is a typical problem amongst women and girls who have been trafficked. Pollaro is the founder of International Sanctuary, a nonprofit based out of Mumbai, India and Irvine, California. "Isanctuary" works primarily with teenagers who have been forced or sold into sexual slavery. They're most known for the fashionable jewelry that they sell online and in small boutiques throughout the United States, each piece assembled by a trafficking survivor who is then able to support herself through the profits.

Pollaro has been living in India for the past five years, and Isanctuary has seen more than 200 girls come through their doors. "[Human trafficking survivors] don't really understand the concept of boundaries and what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like," she says. "They think it's normal when boys show them pornography, and I have to explain to them that it isn't. They don't know how to set higher standards for themselves, or to recognize that they are capable of being a different person than they were before. They need to be taught all of those things, and it's a slow learning process."

Throughout her years of working with these girls, Pollaro admits that the final outcomes tend to vary. Some run away and end up getting re-trafficked, or voluntarily going back to work in the sex industry. Others run away and she has no idea what becomes of them. Yet, she has also seen several girls grow up, go to college, start careers, get married and have children. "A woman we worked with years ago came in just the other day with her baby and her husband," she says. "It was wonderful to see her doing so well."

Yet, learning to set boundaries and maintain higher standards is still only the beginning of a long road toward recovery. Rapini urges any couple with this type of history to seek counseling together, as many women who have been trafficked suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Stories we love
FROM AROUND THE WEB
  • 47% of experts say that celebrities don't cheat any more than the rest of us.