This is the story of “Hope,” a young girl who was trafficked in Seattle at age 16. She was coerced to run away from home, and before being rescued in an FBI raid, was raped and abused by multiple men a day. This is a true story, and one that needs to be told.

Human trafficking is not something that just happens overseas. It happens in the United States, too. And it happens in your city. Polaris says that since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received reports of 22,191 sex trafficking cases inside the U.S. And globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation. They estimate that forced labor and human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide. This needs to end, and we can help.

We employed actors to help tell the story of this young girl in order to respect the family’s privacy and help assure their safety. But it’s important to remember that while Hope was saved, unfortunately, with the way things are today many victims will never be recovered or have a second chance at life.  

So how can you make a difference?

If you see someone you suspect of being trafficked or in danger, call 911. If you have information about a potential trafficking situation you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 24/7 toll-free at 1-888-373-7888. You can also donate to help Hope recover from her trauma and go to college.

Stay aware. Be brave, and let’s end human trafficking.