CourageLIVES – A Branch of Saint Andre Home, is a Program for Survivors of Human Trafficking and Exploitation in Maine About Human Trafficking Victims are hurt & frightened children Our Services Focused on caring, healing & rebuilding.
|The following survivor’s story aligns with Bold Goal 1: Meet basic needs and promote self-sufficiency for all.
“I lived on my own since I was 14. One of my family members got really sick and got pain meds, so I just started doing them. I had had a lot of death around me and it was like nothing mattered. After I was really in deep using them, I got really, really in deep with heroin and fentanyl. Then, I lost my kids. I would go out and do whatever I needed to do get money to feed my habit. That’s how I met my trafficker, who sold drugs. He made it seem like my life would be so much easier if I was with him and all I had to do was sell drugs and just have sex with him. That didn’t last long; he started having me go out and have sex for money. At first, I didn’t see him as a trafficker. I didn’t realize what he was doing. He ended up going to prison for 5 years.
When he was gone, I didn’t know what to do so I started selling drugs on my own. I got really sick from doing drugs. I knew I wanted and needed my life to change, or I wasn’t going to make it. I was tired of living on the streets, being hungry, having nothing, having people take advantage of me, and having to do things I didn’t want to do. I was disgusted with myself, fighting all the time just to get through each day. I broke down, reached out to my family, and told them I needed help, or I was going to die. They helped me connect with CourageLIVES.
Since then, I’ve completely changed my life. I’ve learned so much and become so much more independent. I learned what trafficking is, and understood how my situation was trafficking, and how I had these things called risk factors and how my trafficker exploited those.
I’m worth a lot more than I ever thought I was. I know I can do so much more than be a drug addict, especially if I set goals. Even if I need a little bit of help, it’s ok. I can still reach my goals. I’m going to school, which is something I never thought was possible. I have my own apartment now. I have a car. I go to the grocery store. I pay my bills. I am a recovery coach. I’m a mom. I’m doing the things I always dreamed of doing.
When you’re out on the street being trafficked, you feel like there’s nothing else out there and nothing can help you. It’s hard to change yourself. I want to help other people like me, who never thought things could be different in their lives.
I’m sharing this because I want it to help someone else. And I know CourageLIVES can help someone, just like it has helped me.”