Survivor Voices of Human Trafficking


The Combating Trafficking in Persons Program Management Office presents Survivor Voices of Human Trafficking. We encourage you to read their stories and watch the survivors relate their experiences in the videos. Learn about what they wish they had done differently and how others could have helped. Several of the survivors’ stories have a connection to the DoD. We are grateful to these survivors of sex and labor trafficking and child soldiering who took the time to share their stories with the DoD.

“I was a normal every-day girl living in the suburbs. I was part of a nice family. I was a good kid. I got good grades, was a good athlete...”
Jerome Elam
“Following my parents’ divorce, my mother and I were set adrift on a sea of dysfunction. When I was five, my mother began a relationship with a man named Neale.”
Kaleilani Grant
“Hawaii is a place where every branch of Service in the U.S. military is represented. We have large events such as the Pro Bowl and… RIMPAC.”
Tina Frundt
“When I was 13, I met an older guy who lived in our neighborhood. He was nice to me, and I bonded with him and trusted him.”
“I come from a small city in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India. One day I saw an ad in the newspaper for a U.S. company that was recruiting for Army jobs in Afghanistan.”
James Dold
“Sometimes wolves wear sheep’s clothing. In my case, the wolf came dressed as a devoted wife and mother of another young Cub Scout from my troop.”
Ronny Marty
“I heard from friends about a recruiter who was coming to the Dominican Republic (DR) to find workers for large U.S. hotels and other hospitality companies.”
Carlos Dimas
“I grew up in El Salvador, raised by a courageous single Mom and an alcoholic father who used violence to deal with stress”.
Tanya Gould
“I met my trafficker when I was still in high school. We dated for four months – he doted on me, gave me presents, brought me flowers, took me shopping.”
Ishmeal Charles
“One summer, the rebels attacked Kono two weeks after I arrived. They made me a laborer and I was forced to carry heavy loads of stolen loot from town to town.”
Lusambu Karim
“Twenty-one Ugandans (including myself) were sent to Afghanistan in June 2018. We spent two months in Bagram transit area where we were...”
“After I was trafficked, and still at times to this day, I’m sorry to say, when I think of the military, I get fearful and anxious and many other negative emotions.”
Barbara Amaya
“I grew up in Fairfax Virginia until the age of 12. After that, I finished my childhood years being brutally sex trafficked in the streets of Washington, D.C. and New York City.”
Keyana Marshall
“It seemed like sometimes the military police even knew or suspected what was going on but turned a blind eye to it. Some military men would “gift” girls to each other to celebrate...”
Hannah Blair
“During that time many men purchased me. I’m sure some were from the military because the Coast Guard was so close. There were also law enforcement officials – one even came in his uniform...”
Desiree Trail
“I met a bouncer at a local strip club and even though it didn’t seem like it then, looking back I see that began my downward spiral into an underworld, an outlier life, and finally led to me being trafficked.”
Harold D'Souza
“If they had, if someone had known the indicators, if someone had been paying attention, the fact that we were trafficked could have been identified at a very early stage. There were so many other indicators...”
Amber Causey
“Believe me when I say it is not an exaggeration when I say the military saved my life! Just before dropping out of high school...I had signed up for the ROTC. Miraculously, a few years later, a local recruiter found me.”