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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.

"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?

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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