Cammie was a college student struggling to pay her tuition when she met her trafficker. He was a charismatic Romeo Trafficker who lured her into a relationship, promising to help and allow her to safely and quickly earn money by dancing for clients. Instead, he forced her into prostitution for two years.
*Names have been changed to protect the rescue’s identity.
How did this happen?
Her story began in Manhattan, New York, where she encountered her trafficker. His charisma and ability to initiate exciting conversations drew Cammie’s attention, and they met frequently. She soon became attracted to him and started to trust him with more personal information about herself and her financial struggles. At the time, Cammie was on a student-athlete scholarship at a local University, but due to an injury, she lost her award and needed a way to pay for tuition.
The trafficker swiftly offered her an opportunity: dance for clients and moved into his apartment to save the rent money. Seeing no other alternative and knowing that other girls danced to finance their education, she agreed. The trafficker bought a dress and shoes and took her to a local strip club. At the club, the trafficker assured her that she only had to dance and would have no physical contact with the customers.
Within a couple of hours dancing, Cammie made $300. Excited that she’d be able to stop dancing as soon as she made the $3,000 she needed, Cammie went with her trafficker to a house. At home, Cammie offered dances to the men but was taken aback when one of the men demanded oral sex. Cammie began yelling at the man, and the trafficker immediately pulled her aside and began choking her.
Cammie argued that she was prepared to dance, not engage in sex, and she tried to leave. The trafficker punched her in the face, kicked her, and threatened to kill her family if she left. She then blacked out and woke up the next day, lying in a puddle of urine on her trafficker’s kitchen floor. She began to cry, and her trafficker came in to console her and apologize.
He promised that he would never hurt her again. The next day, the trafficker beat Cammie when she tried to intervene in the beating of one of the other girls in the house.
Cammie Tried to Runaway…
Looking for a way out of the abuse, Cammie ran away the next month and stayed with her uncle. Though she physically escaped, Cammie was still trapped by fear. She remained in contact with her trafficker, and he threatened to hurt her family if she called the police or refused to come back. Within two weeks of escaping, Cammie returned to her trafficker; upon return, she was brutally raped and sodomized. These abuses convinced Cammie that she had no choice but to comply.
What Was the Abuse Like?
Cammie recounts, “From the very first beating when I was choked to the point of unconsciousness until the day he pulled the trigger on the miraculously unloaded gun in my mouth, I knew obedience meant survival. When he placed the gun in my mouth and asked me if I wanted to die, I shrugged. I thought, ‘Finally, this pain and this life would be over, and the only one hurt is the one who was responsible for me being in the situation – me!’ The trigger was pulled, but I was still alive. For a few moments, I thought I was experiencing death with the ability to see life still until I felt the blows to my head by the gun.”
“This was when I realized there was no hope. I had to continue this life of being obedient to him, so my family wouldn’t get hurt, as he reminded me each day. I was alive but was not living. I was a slave.”
How did Rahab’s Daughters Help Her?
Because Cammie was afraid of her trafficker, she fulfilled all of his demands. Eventually, he came to trust her and use her for other purposes. For example, she drove girls across state lines. These trips, in turn, gave Cammie opportunities to flee.
When they were in different states, Cammie ran away for the second time but returned shortly after that. While they were in Miami, Florida, Cammie desperately tried to think of ways to leave her trafficker.
As she was assuming, she received a text from the call center of Rahab’s Daughters, a local Anti Human Trafficking Charity asking her if she needed anything and saying they loved her. She took a chance and called the number back. She arranged to meet the charity after looking them up online and was surprised to find a safe place and the ability to escape and start over. Cammie is now in a residential program getting the help she needs to recover and rebuild her life.