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She was sold as a sex slave for $73. Then she was sold again. And finally, she was rescued.

Her story — in her own words. TRIGGER WARNING: Rape and sexual assault.

She was sold as a sex slave for $73. Then she was sold again. And finally, she was rescued.

"In your whole life, the happiest moment is to feel free from the darkness..."


There is nothing greater than being free.

Remy, a survivor who was sold into sex slavery at 12 years old, knows this firsthand. She was rescued and taken to an organization called Love146 that helps women and children who are survivors of sex slavery.



Love146 has chronicled her powerful story in the video at the end.

But here's Remy's story in her own words:

"I was only 12 years old when I was first sold for sex.

When I was small we lived in the city. Our home was always chaotic. It was a place where people fought and quarreled.

My father didn't care about us. He was always in jail and he wasn't there to protect us. ... There were hurtful things my mother would say to me. She would say that I was just like my father — worthless and useless. I believed her. I believed I was useless.

There was one incident with my uncle that happened that I will never forget. I wanted to run during that time. I was scared because he had a knife with him. He raped me... I decided to run away. I thought I might find love and care someplace else. I would find importance I didn't receive from my family...

The sex club paid the trafficker $73. For me that was my worth.

I was 12 years old when the trafficker sold me. I was introduced to the other call girls. While on duty we would be sold for sex.

I felt no hope at all. I felt like a bird trapped inside a cage. I felt like I was inside a cage and no one could help me.

The bird is sad. Even if it wants freedom, it cannot escape. It is still sad and suffering. He has no hope. The bird will think his life will end there. Just like me.

I hoped for a simple life. A comfortable life and a good family. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a person who was dirty, someone who was uneducated and not respectable.

There was trouble in the club. The trafficker said we would go to the port and board a ship. We arrived at Cebu City the next day. The police were there and they got us.

We were rescued but I didn't know we were being helped until later.

Then we were bought to Love146. ... In the past, I felt forsaken because I was raped and I was dirty. I was sold and lots of people used me.

I thought God didn't care about me. Now, I feel so important to Him. Whatever is broken in me, God has found the people to complete me again.

Now, I am free just like a bird given its freedom. I can do anything because God has set me free."

You can listen to Remy tell her story.

And that story has a happy ending.

Remy was rescued in 2009 and sent to live in Love146's Round Home, where she received counseling and other services so that she can have a meaningful life.

The nonprofit has four survivor care homes in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines, where they offer the same support that Remy received to many other survivors who were once bought and sold.

When someone is removed or escapes from the sex trade, they need help, and organizations like Love146 provide that. You can learn more about them and even make a donation if you're so inclined by visiting their website.

When we hear about sex trafficking, there's often a feeling of helplessness that comes with the knowledge. But in addition to spreading awareness, we can support organizations that are rehabilitating survivors. Maybe give this a share?

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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