This woman went from trafficking victim to triathlon victor.
When Norma Bastidas shattered the world record for longest triathlon in 2014, by completing a 3,762-mile race, she did it in the name of human trafficking victims. Now nonprofit iEmpathize is raising funds to make a documentary about her, to raise awareness of the issue of exploitation and to show people what survivors are capable of.
“I was a survivor of sexual violence and human trafficking,” Bastidas said in a video interview with the filmmakers. “I did a world record in honor of other survivors, to say: Look at us.”
Her story is a familiar one when it comes to human trafficking: Raised in a struggling family in Mexico, at 19 she was offered a modeling job in Japan, according to CNN. But Wwhen she arrived, she realized there was no job — instead, her papers were taken away and she was sold to a wealthy man.