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Annie - Spoken For
Annie is the first survivor of human trafficking that Spoken For has had the privilege of working with. Annie was born to a meth-addicted mother. She was just eight years old when her mom left her with an aunt in Arizona who also had custody of Annie’s older sister and two older brothers. Life became slightly more stable than with her mother, but it was a childhood distorted and tainted with disappointment and fear. When Annie was 13 she moved out with her older sister and she began using cocaine. School attendance was sporadic and eventually she dropped out at 16. When Annie was 19, she met up with some friends for a road trip to Colorado. She drove her car alone, accompanied by two of her friends dogs, while her friends drove a second car packed with everyone’s luggage. On the way back they planned a stop to fill up with gas in Las Vegas, New Mexico. But on the return trip to Arizona Annie glanced back in her rear view mirror, seeing her friends car swerving out of control and then suddenly flip end over end. One of her friends was thrown from the car. As the car rolled to a stop, Annie realized her other friend was pinned inside. She immediately called for emergency services but the crash was so severe that both of her friends died before help could arrive. Once again, Annie felt stuck, just like when she was a child, with few options and very little money. She aimlessly made her way to Albuquerque and it was here on the streets that she met a man. He was kind and friendly, offering her a place to stay. His words were like music to her ears, words she always longed to hear. She could live with him, he’d be her boyfriend, they’d be like a family, he’d protect her and make sure she had everything she needed. He showed her what she thought was love, playing a hero, rescuing her, giving her safety and security. But the reality of her situation only became worse. Eventually he told Annie they just needed a little more money before they started their new life together. This hero turned into her exploiter, and Annie began to be trafficked out of hotels and homes in Albuquerque and Santa Fe as a sex slave. Annie’s trafficker had gained complete control over her situation. He had groomed and primed her, leading Annie to believe he was her boyfriend and that everything being done to her was for the sake of their future. He held total control of the money she made, the places she could go, the clothes she wore. She had lost her driver’s license and social security card and any connection to her family and friends. There was nothing and no one to identify her. Eventually her trafficker moved Annie to a house with several other women and his young daughter. She began to form a strong bond with his daughter and although Annie often thought of escape, she was afraid to leave, wanting to stay and protect this little girl. She endured countless beatings and horrific abuse from her trafficker and survived repeated violence from the johns who purchased her. One day after an especially violent beating from her trafficker, Annie managed to escape and called police for help. We met Annie through The Life Link in Santa Fe. She was introduced to us with nothing more than the clothes on her back. Spoken For provided Annie with safe, transitional housing, food, new clothing and personal supplies. Additionally she had severe dental issues due to lack of nutrition and access to healthcare. Spoken For partnered with a local dental office in Rio Rancho for immediate emergency palliative treatment. Annie has since successfully completed drug rehab with her mother and has stayed with her therapy. She is a happier and healthier person today. Spoken For was privileged to help Annie move past extreme crisis to a place of stabilization. It is our mission to offer victims and survivors choices, helping restore their future, building a bridge to opportunities, programs and systems that gives control over their life and the tools to realize their dreams.