Perla

Survivor of Sex Trafficking and Clothing and Jewelry Designer

Perla

After a sexual assault by a family member as a child, Perla was trafficked at age 14. She was later lured into work in a bar for men seeking transgender women for sex. Following her escape from Mexico to the United States, Perla was again trafficked after her passport was confiscated and she was forced to have sex with up to 30 men a day. She later studied design and English and is now a happily married designer.

“Young transgender woman should not enter the sex trade even if it’s their only choice to supporting themselves. You carry the trauma from that exploitation your whole life. Men physically abuse you and the police don’t believe you, or demand sex themselves. I was forced to go through a sex change to please men who wanted sex with a transgender woman. People commit suicide rather than take the abuse that is part of the sex trade. It’s just wrong to buy and sell people.”