So often we hear about sex trafficking and sex trade in foreign countries. But the truth is, it’s happening in our own backyards. Former U.S. President Barack Obama has deemed it “one of the great human rights causes of our time.”
Rebecca Bender is a sex trafficking survivor from southern Oregon.
Rebecca didn’t grow up in a bad home and she wasn’t a bad kid—in fact, she graduated high school early and had planned to start college at just 17 years old. An unexpected pregnancy left her un-enrolled at University, and a young mother to a new baby girl.
When she met a charming new boyfriend, she would have never guessed the terror that was ahead.
Rebecca was strategically “wooed,” then violently coerced into “Flesh Trade.” She was moved to Las Vegas and forced to “pay back” what her abuser had done for her by selling her body.
“When you have a trafficker that’s waiting at home with your child, that says, ‘If you don’t bring home $1500, you’re going to find your daughter out on the corner,’ I think I was probably more frightened to go home,” Rebecca explains the horror she lived.
Her story is a reality check for anyone who believes that the sex trade industry is just “something overseas.” It’s heartbreaking and it’s devastating, and it needs to be put to an end.
Today, Rebecca is happily married, and frequently cheers on her lightning-fast daughter as she zips around the high school track. She’s an advocate, author, speaker and mentor. To learn more about Rebecca, or how you can pledge your support for ending slavery in the 21st century, visit rebeccabender.org