Resources and help for child and teen victims of sex trafficking have improved greatly. But for victim's families there is a huge gap. If you need help finding local resources in your area, e-mail us. We'll work with you to find what is available.
If your child or loved one has not been rescued or if they have been rescued and not receiving treatment, resources for parents alone are virtually non-existent. Coping with the guilt and shame associated with being a parent of a child who has been victimized can be paralyzing. And if they are still missing or being victimized it is terrifying. I have met several other parents of sex trafficked teenagers in the past year and I find numerous similarities in our experiences in dealing with this emotional trauma. Can you relate to any of the following statements?
"My family and friends just don't seem to understand."
"I don't know why this happened to us. What did I do wrong?"
"I don't want anyone to know this happened. It's embarrassing."
"I can't do my job anymore."
"I can't stop thinking about this."
"I don't know who to talk to."
"I don't know what to say or do with my child."
"My child seems broken."
As a parent of a teenager who was sex trafficked my biggest advice is find someone to talk to. This doesn't have to be someone you know but it does need to be someone who is willing to listen, to not judge, to just provide an opportunity for you to verbalize what you are feeling. And, if you are like me, you are going to need some professional help to deal with the guilt and shame, to find a way to let go of it. If you don't, it will consume you. It will make you question every decision you make about your child and you can become a victim yourself.
Get yourself healthy and then get out there and talk about it.