AGE 18


Brittany was 18 years old when she boarded a Greyhound bus and met the man who would become her trafficker — and the father of her child.

She had no idea the "instant connection" she felt would lead to months of brainwashing — or how long it would take for her to realize the man prostituting her out of hotel rooms wasn't really her "boyfriend."

He made me feel special. I never wanted to leave him,” Brittany said. “I was in love with him. I thought I was going to be with him for the rest of my life.”

Many people in the United States think of sex trafficking as the portrayal in the movie "Taken": A young woman on an overseas trip kidnapped by a gang and forced into sexual servitude.

But the reality is more complex.

"A majority of the girls we work with were either lured through social media, by someone who pretended to be their boyfriend or made them promises about a modeling or a music career," said Kendall Wolz, assistant director of the Baptist Friendship House in Louisiana, a shelter for trafficking victims and homeless women with children. "We see that avenue a lot more than the forcibly kidnapped."



The names and faces of victims depicted in these stories have been changed to protect their identity.