At age 14, Sara ran away from home in western Maine, and a madame in Lewiston sold her for sex to countless men. After she escaped “the Life,” drug-addicted boyfriends beat her, and people she grew to trust traded her to other men for drugs. She had to exchange sex for food and shelter, lost a son to the state, spent time in and out of jail, and was held captive in hotels, she said.
Now at 25, Sara is starting to have hope. She’s learning to build trust and healthy relationships. She recently got a job as a sales associate, and she aims to become a certified nursing assistant. She’s finishing her high school education, trying to stay sober and learning how to care for a young daughter. The BDN is not releasing Sara’s last name or other identifying information to protect her safety.