sozgyg0tqdsmsukophvt_12An 18-year old sex trafficking victim, she was brought to IWH by the FBI. Florencia was rescued during a major sting operation in Gwinnett County. She had been smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico and was told she would be working in a factory. Coming from a poor village, she saw an opportunity to make money to send back to her impoverished family. Upon arriving into the U.S. she was forced to live with 12 other women who had been smuggled in for the purpose of prostitution. She initially refused to comply with her captors and was beaten. Eventually she was told if she did not do as they asked, they would kill her. She and the other women were rescued during the sting and she was brought to the shelter both as a victim and as a witness waiting to testify against her abductors. During her stay she learned basic English, received a temporary work permit, found a job sewing curtains, and after six months in the shelter, was able to rent her own apartment by sharing expenses with another survivor she had met at our shelter. The perpetrators pled guilty to sex trafficking and were sentenced to 7 years in jail and then deportation upon their release.

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