In the Booth with Ruth – Barbara Amaya, Child Trafficking Survivor, Author, and Educator of Human Trafficking

“He had been a pimp, true, but for years I’d been thinking all that happened to me had been my fault, the abuse I suffered before I ran away from home, the beating he gave me to make me compliant and more. I had truly believed all of those things were my fault and I’d carried it with me for decades.” Barbara Amaya, Child Trafficking Survivor, Author, and Educator of Human Trafficking.

Ruth Jacobs

How did you become involved in the movement against human trafficking?

I had the classic ‘aha moment’ or an epiphany last spring as I watched a newscast about trafficked teens in my neighborhood here in Virginia. At that moment, I realized that all those years ago when I’d been in the streets of New York, the man who’d exploited me had actually been trafficking me. He had been a pimp, true, but for years I’d been thinking all that happened to me had been my fault, the abuse I suffered before I ran away from home, the beating he gave me to make me compliant and more. I had truly believed all of those things were my fault and I’d carried it with me for decades. That night, something happened to me as I listened and reacted to the newscast about girls who were the same age as I had…

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