In the Booth with Ruth – David Wayne, Child Trafficking Survivor and Anti-Human Trafficking Advocate

“I still felt the need for further support in dealing with the memories of being trafficked though, and this led me to GEMS, based in New York. Thanks to the efforts of Rachel Lloyd and all the GEMS girls, I finally began to come to terms with the nature of the crimes that had been committed….

From early on in my own recovery, it was very obvious to me that I had a greater chance to heal if I assisted in the healing of others. Even more of a contributing factor though, is that I was a witness to sexual crimes committed against others whom I cared very deeply for. While my own suffering is nothing to dismiss, I suffered much greater distress in watching these events happen and in spite of attempts to stop them, remained unable to help. I’m hypersensitive regarding people in dangerous or degrading situations, especially children and women. These things aside, there is also the recognition of the bigger picture and a desire to lend assistance in any way I can to combat modern slavery and exploitation…

I’m forty-four years old and my life is just beginning.” David Wayne, Child Trafficking Survivor and Anti-Human Trafficking Advocate.

Ruth Jacobs

David Wayne

How did you become involved in the movement against sex trafficking and sexual exploitation?

My involvement began as I was receiving EMDR trauma therapy to recover from lifelong posttraumatic stress disorder. I was overwhelmed by flashbacks, night terrors, anxiety and depression that were triggered by the passing of my father, who began grooming and sexually assaulting me at the age of three, and then trafficked me on a regular basis, mostly in my home state of Pennsylvania, but also in New Jersey and Delaware, from age four to the time I entered school at the age of five. He photographed me pornographically at the age of twelve as I was forced to engage in sexual acts with an older female cousin. Throughout early childhood, there were other male perpetrators, and at the age of ten I was lured into the home of a middle-aged, female neighbor, who made sexual advances…

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