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.