“According to the FBI, more than 100,000 children are sold for sex in the U.S. each year.”
Two of these children, both from one of the hottest spots for child trafficking in the US, share their stories of “playing the game” until they were rescued.
Brittney, only 19, explains how her days as a prostitute in Oakland, California, were ambiguous and unavoidable, full of long hours and ending early in the morning. Kidnapped at the age 15 by a “guerrilla pimp,” she was gang-raped, driven to Sacramento, and under constant watch while put to work on the streets and online.
Darlene, another native to Oakland, has a different story. “A lot of it is glorified,” she explains of trafficking. She fell subject to a “Romeo pimp” when she was 14 and moved in with him. He used this as an excuse for her to prostitute herself and bring in extra income, educating her along the way as an experienced pimp.
Both of these victims spent months “turning tricks” on International Boulevard, also known as “The Track.” A 50-block span of prostituted women and daily beatings, girls may meet up to fifteen “johns” a day and only be allowed one meal.
Both of the girls realized that during a life of prostitution and pimp-loving, the future looked bleak. When she got pregnant by him, Brittney’s pimp beat her until she lost the baby. After she was shot multiple times, Darlene acknowledged her future would either death or prison if something didn’t change.
Fortunately, both escaped that life and both have since turned their lives around through community programs.
“You know, I’ve been through all that, and I’ve come out of it. It feels wonderful.” – Darlene