“Hope” is in her early 20’s, and has a one year old baby girl. She came to the Dream Center Human Trafficking Program with a lot of hate towards God and severe anxiety. She felt like God abandoned her and didn’t care. A few years ago, she came to Los Angeles to meet up with her boyfriend. She took the greyhound bus to Los Angeles, but when she got off, her boyfriend wasn’t there. She started walking to a McDonalds to wait and get some food when a car drove up and pulled her into the vehicle. Everyone’s worst nightmare became her reality. She had been kidnapped and had no idea what the next few months would look like. She was forced to work on the streets for about 7 months. She had to see 8-10 dates per day and bring in a quota of $1500. If she needed or wanted anything, she had to go through her pimp to get it. There was no room for trying to escape from her pimp because she was constantly being watched. She knew the consequences if she ever tried to talk back to him, express herself, or run away. One night, a Vice Cop was working and told her he could help her get out. They staged an arrest and were able to safely remove her from the situation.
The anxieties that she experienced from this situation lead her to paranoia and a feeling of constantly being watched. She also suffered from the Stockholm syndrome because her perpetrators main objective was to instill in her that he was the only source of protection she would ever have. Her fear was harsh enough that she felt her only protection was to go back. She went back several times, and each time, this same Vice Cop would rescue her. She was finally able to get out and stay out, but was left with some legal cases. After two years, she was arrested on an old warrant, and her daughter was taken away from her while she completed the jail time. A case was opened against her through DCFS, and she knew it was time to work through everything she had been through. She heard about the Dream Center through the Vice Cop, and came without knowing what to expect.
Since coming, she knows she has given her life back to Christ, and understands that he never left her after all. The pain she suffered caused him pain as well, and she has never felt more connect to him than she does now. She feels the Dream Center has given her the tools she needed to get her hope back. Her main goal is to complete the program and get her daughter back. She’d like to go to the family floor so she can maintain the same support she has had through the Dream Center and begin to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.