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.
"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?