National Human Trafficking Hotline 1 (888) 373-7888 Or use the textline: Text "BeFree" (233733)

The Red Cord is Southwest Oklahoma's Anti Human Trafficking Organization

Michelle's Freedom Story

I was an easy target, and my trafficker knew it. This was 12 years ago now, and I am healing, but the memory is still fresh.

 

I met my trafficker online when I was living in Oklahoma City. My addiction to drugs led me to lose custody of my daughter. I was able to work, even though I was deeply addicted to drugs.

 

He saw how lost and vulnerable I was and offered me what I thought was acceptance and love. He treated me so well in the beginning. He was tricking me into a life of slavery by telling me he owned an entertainment business. I wanted to please him because he treated me so well, and the other girls I had met. But over time, I came to understand that I owed him for all he had done for me. I was not sober-minded. Many of those days became a blur. He told me to do what his employees told me to do which was selling myself to men, over and over. Most of the money went to my trafficker. I was forced to do what they said. No questions asked. And if I didn’t, he would threaten my little girl and my parents. He would brutally hurt me and the other girls – hit us, lock us up, tear our hair out. I knew the violence he was capable of. I was living a nightmare. The damage done to my fragile emotional status was devastating.

 

I never knew when I was being watched by one of his workers. I had no freedom. I lived in constant fear.

 

At one point, he pinned me down on a sofa with a knife and told me to get ready to go with him. At that moment, I prayed, “God, please forgive me. If this is my time, I want to go to heaven.” In that moment, he got off of me and I believe it is because of God’s intervention.

 

I didn’t have a home so I stayed with friends. One of those friends knew something was wrong with me even though I didn’t tell her all the details. But she reached out to my parents and told them I needed help and they should come get me and keep me protected. My friend arranged for them to come get me when I was staying at her home one night. And that was the moment my freedom journey began.

 

I went back to our small Oklahoma hometown and my family kept me safe for a year. I was so fortunate to have family and friends that helped me, prayed for me, and stayed with me when I was healing. It’s been a long, slow road to recovery. Part of the trauma I experienced was the doubt that I was worthy of love. But I became aware of how much Jesus loved me and wanted me to be whole. I didn’t think I could ever be complete again.

 

But now, I am and RN, I’ve been reunited with my daughter, got married to a wonderful man and we have two beautiful children together.

 

Today, I don’t take my freedom for granted. For me, freedom means I can live life without fear. Freedom came to me internally first through receiving God’s gift of love. And then it became external as I learned how to share my story to help others. I want to share this hope with others. I want others who are in slavery or are recovering to know true joy is possible. You can live in freedom again.

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The Red Cord strives to be Oklahoma’s thought leader on Human Trafficking. We demystify common misconceptions so you can have confidence you’re spreading the right information.

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A Message From Cindy Evans, The Founder of The Red Cord

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"
Martin Luther King JR

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