Barbara Amaya was recruited into trafficking when she was 12 years old. She worked the streets of Washington, D.C. and New York City and says she has been asked repeatedly why she did not simply walk away from it all.
"It's almost the perfect crime," she tells American Family News. "Traffickers know if they can convince this victim to think they're not a victim, then that's called the trauma bond, and that's one of the things we educate people about. Stockholm syndrome, the formation of the trauma bond is something that traffickers are very good at."
Traffickers use that mechanism to gain positive feelings from a person who is in captivity and being abused.
Amaya says traffickers are looking to recruit victims between the ages of 12 and 14.
"That's the age when children are going through all kinds of things at home, in school," Amaya relays. "They want everything to be perfect, and traffickers prey upon that vulnerability because they're predators, and that's what they do -- prey on the vulnerable."
In her case, she shares that an encounter with Christ is what rescued her from that life.
"I used to think I didn't matter," Amaya confesses. "I thought I didn't matter, and the human race? I'd pretty much given up on everyone in it."
But by the grace of God, she now uses her testimony to educate others about human trafficking.