Breaking Free: Native American Women Tell How They Survived Sex Trafficking

“I was growing up good,” Jessica Smith says one afternoon in St. Paul, Minnesota, in a small apartment rental that is used by women struggling to get out of trafficking. “Everything was fine, good family, everything was good, until I met a guy, and he changed my whole life.”
Smith, now 21, was one of many young Native American girls who have been seduced into sex trafficking by a romantic interest. Born in St. Paul to parents struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction, Smith was put up for adoption at the age of 2 and placed with a family she describes as good, stable, and loving. She spent the next 11 years having a normal childhood, she says, until she met that guy and fell in love.
“I didn’t care about anything else, my friends, I stopped talking to them, and I started doing cocaine,” she said. “It changed my life.”

To read more: