In the Know: A Survivor's Perspective

Low Self-Esteem and Human Trafficking

By Kelley Alsobrook

As far back as I can remember, I always felt that I was “less than.” I remember my dad telling me so many times growing up that I was nothing, and I would never be anything. Whenever I would do something wrong, I would hear, “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” These words played over and over in my head every day for many, many years! 

I remember in elementary and middle school wanting to fit in. If I couldn’t get the kids to like me just from my personality I would buy them gifts in order to be liked. I was a “chunky” kid, so I didn’t have many kids that wanted to be my friend; instead I was made fun of. I was also a little withdrawn because of the abuse I was enduring at home, which didn’t make matters any better.

I craved love so much that if someone showed me any kind of attention, I was extremely loyal to him or her. There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them.  I wasn’t getting the love I needed from home, so I would look elsewhere to get what I needed. This is why it was so easy for my traffickers to lure me in! They would give me attention, buy me things, pay me compliments, and, even when they would beat me, I would stay because they would say how sorry they were and it wouldn’t happen anymore.  And since they “loved” me, I would do anything to keep them and keep them happy, even if that meant selling my body.

I have talked to so many survivors that have felt these same feelings. They didn’t feel like they were “good enough” or “pretty enough” or “smart enough” and, therefore, got sucked in by their traffickers.  Traffickers are master manipulators and can spot an “easy target” a mile away. They know just the right words to say to lure their next victim in. They may come off as the sweetest people around, and once they have their “prey” right where they want them … that’s when that ugly side rears its ugly head. The sad part is the trauma bond that gets formed between the victim and the trafficker. It’s a vicious cycle of the trafficker “wooing” the victim and giving her what she needs, then the beatings and fear when expectations aren't met, control over all she does and, ultimately, she's miserable and feeling the guilt, shame, anger and self-loathing. The mind control traffickers have over their victims is just a game for them and, in the meantime, they have stripped the victim of everything!!! These effects take years to undo, and, for a lot of us, we continue to deal with the insecurities in some shape or form for a lifetime.

It is so important that we teach our young girls and boys just how special they really are. We need to encourage our youth instead of tearing them down. If we don't give them the love and encouragement they need, they will find it elsewhere and could find themselves right in the grip of a trafficker.

Kelley Alsobrook was born and raised in Miami, Florida and has resided here in Memphis, TN with her husband for the past 16 years. Growing up in an abusive home was something that is known well to Mrs. Alsobrook. Her father sexually, physically, and mentally abused her and during that time she came to accept this kind of treatment from a man. This abuse continued into her adult hood as she became the victim of human trafficking and domestic violence. Once she escaped this torturous lifestyle she was determined to help others get through these same experiences. She is now passionate about seeing those who have been beaten, broken, battered, and bruised become whole. This was the motivation for beginning Ashes2Beauty. Mrs. Alsobrook has earned her Associates Degree in Business Management and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. She has also become extremely involved in her community through speaking and educating those on human trafficking, as well as serving as an advocate in this same area. She is an active member in her church, singing in the choir along with being a part of the youth ministry. Mrs. Alsobrook is currently a member of the Trafficking in America Task Force Alliance and has also served as president and vice president for The Voice of Raleigh Frasier, and was a board member on The Board of Walking Into a New Life. Mrs. Alsobrook was the recipient of the 2011 S.I.S Award and received 1st place for her survivor story from Miracles House of Restoration in 2012 and was nominated for the Shelby County Advocate of the Year award in 2013 as well as the Visionary Award in 2014. Mrs. Alsobrook has been happily married to a wonderful man for the past 13 years. She has two daughters, one of which lives here in Memphis and has given her five beautiful grandchildren.  

Kelley Alsobrook was born and raised in Miami, Florida and has resided here in Memphis, TN with her husband for the past 16 years. Growing up in an abusive home was something that is known well to Mrs. Alsobrook. Her father sexually, physically, and mentally abused her and during that time she came to accept this kind of treatment from a man. This abuse continued into her adult hood as she became the victim of human trafficking and domestic violence. Once she escaped this torturous lifestyle she was determined to help others get through these same experiences. She is now passionate about seeing those who have been beaten, broken, battered, and bruised become whole. This was the motivation for beginning Ashes2Beauty.

Mrs. Alsobrook has earned her Associates Degree in Business Management and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. She has also become extremely involved in her community through speaking and educating those on human trafficking, as well as serving as an advocate in this same area. She is an active member in her church, singing in the choir along with being a part of the youth ministry. Mrs. Alsobrook is currently a member of the Trafficking in America Task Force Alliance and has also served as president and vice president for The Voice of Raleigh Frasier, and was a board member on The Board of Walking Into a New Life.

Mrs. Alsobrook was the recipient of the 2011 S.I.S Award and received 1st place for her survivor story from Miracles House of Restoration in 2012 and was nominated for the Shelby County Advocate of the Year award in 2013 as well as the Visionary Award in 2014.

Mrs. Alsobrook has been happily married to a wonderful man for the past 13 years. She has two daughters, one of which lives here in Memphis and has given her five beautiful grandchildren.  

Ashes2Beauty Talk Radio Every Sunday night from 8-9pm CST www.blogtalkradio.com/ashes2beauty   Ashes2Beauty Talk Radio Every Sunday night from 8-9pm CST www.blogtalkradio.com/ashes2beauty   We cover topics such as self-esteem & self-worth in order to help motivate & empower for healing from hurts. We primarily bring awareness regarding Human Trafficking but we all discuss sexual assault and domestic violence. Our guest speakers will share personal stories on how they became over-comers as well as professionals that will share their experience in dealing with abuse, human trafficking, sexual assault, etc........No matter who the guest is you will definitely NEVER want to miss an episode!!!!!

Ashes2Beauty Talk Radio

Every Sunday night from 8-9pm CST

www.blogtalkradio.com/ashes2beauty

 

Ashes2Beauty Talk Radio

Every Sunday night from 8-9pm CST

www.blogtalkradio.com/ashes2beauty

 

We cover topics such as self-esteem & self-worth in order to help motivate & empower for healing from hurts. We primarily bring awareness regarding Human Trafficking but we all discuss sexual assault and domestic violence. Our guest speakers will share personal stories on how they became over-comers as well as professionals that will share their experience in dealing with abuse, human trafficking, sexual assault, etc........No matter who the guest is you will definitely NEVER want to miss an episode!!!!!