Trafficked and put out on the street when she was just 13 years old, Sawan Vaden’s innocent adolescence was shattered. As an 18-year old, she met a man who lured her into prostitution with false promises, which led to a highly manipulative and violent situation that lasted for years. As a result, she lost everything meaningful to her. Ms. Vaden found comfort and personal value in her church. She is now an advocate and mentor to those who are struggling as she had in her youth.
“The hope for young people vulnerable to exploitation is prevention. We must teach youth their own value and also the value of human life. Adults in the lives of children must have their eyes open and be looking out for them. For many of us, no one saw what we were suffering—not even our teachers or medical personnel with whom we came in contact and who could have intervened.”