At the age of 14, most girls are getting ready to enter high school and dreaming of the possibilities ahead. But for Karlie,* that was a far stretch from the nightmare of slavery that had become her reality.
Karlie* dreaded every single day. She had been coerced into a life of slavery, being forced into incomprehensible acts with people her father's age. Beaten, starved and tortured beyond recognition, this young teenage girl had been robbed of her youth; her innocence stolen.
Finally, the day came when Karlie’s* nightmare came to an end. The local police received a tip and rescued her from her traffickers. When she arrived at the A21 crisis shelter she barely spoke a word and kept her distance from everyone, not knowing if they could be trusted.
As she continued through the A21 program, Karlie* began to overcome the brokenness of her past. Karlie* would open her eyes each morning to a warm greeting full of love; something she hadn't experienced since she was a little girl. Slowly, her innocence was being restored, her confidence was coming back, and she even began to smile again.
At the end of her time at the A21 crisis shelter, she embraced the staff and said, "this was the best time of my life." Karlie* was totally free. She had discovered that her past did not define who she was. Strong, beautiful and valued, she walked back into the world as one who had beaten the odds; a survivor, given a second chance to dream again.
*Survivor's name and photo have been changed for her protection