Sex Trafficking Survivor Says Traffickers Need Help Too

“These people are master manipulators. … They have issues because normal people don’t go around doing what [traffickers] do.”

By Joy DiazApril 18, 2017 12:57 pm| ,

Ameena Young says she hasn’t completely healed from her experience as a survivor of human trafficking. When she was first trafficked at age 15, Young didn’t understand what the man she thought was her boyfriend had involved her in.

“These people are master manipulators, ‘victim,’ never crossed my mind back then,” Young says.

She says that the “boyfriending technique” of her trafficker muddled her interpretation of the experience.

“I thought that this was a mistake. I didn’t think that he was diabolical enough to pull this off,” Young says.

She says her eventual escape from sex trafficking is a hazy memory.

“We were hardly fed but when we were fed, there were drugs in our food. I remember being paralyzed at one point so I’m not sure how we got out,” Young says.

Young says that identifying what she had gone through helped her continue to heal.

“Being able to put a name on what happened to me solidified that I am, in fact, a trafficking survivor because I had my doubts before,” Young says.

Ameena Young/Facebook

Ameena Young hikes to clear her mind. She says she hasn’t been completely healed from her experience as a victim of human trafficking. But, she says, she is getting there. It’s a journey.

Now, Young is studying to become a counselor to help trafficking victims as well as sufferers of sex addiction.

“Traffickers are people as well. They have issues because normal people don’t go around doing what they do,” Young says, “I think that to end the cycle, they need help and healing too. Just like trafficked victims do.”

Current budget proposals in the Texas legislature focus primarily on punishing promoters of prostitution but allocate little to victim recovery. The proposed $430 million increase in foster care funding, where many children fall victim to sex trafficking, is less than half of the $1 billion funding increase that state agencies asked for to repair the system.

Written by Emma Whalen.