Jauwan is a survivor of life filled with sexual exploitation. Below she shares her story in hopes of waking others up to the realities of sexual abuse and sex trafficking and in order to help others avoid these traps and situations.
I was almost kidnapped twice. Once by a man yelling at me in another language, I could tell he was trying to get me to get into his car. I took off running and he drove off. The second time was by a man who was known in the projects for raping his own daughters. He tried to hold my hand and get me into his car. In both of these situations I was just fourteen years old, but the abuse and the dangers started long before then.
At the age of 8 I was recruited into a kid sex club; I was molested by more than 5 people throughout my childhood. We moved between states six times in six years. By the time I was 12 I had lived in DC, Maryland, Texas, Kansas, and Missouri. I was never given the chance to make close friends and I never knew what environment we were moving into. There was something bad that happened at nearly every location we moved to; some of those situations came as a result of my loneliness. This type of childhood leaves you with a loneliness that predators can spot from a mile away.
At the age of 13 I was held at knife and gunpoint during a gun sale gone wrong. I spent a good chunk of my teen years homeless and at age 19 I became a stripper which eventually led to me getting involved in a virtual escort service. Even though I was caught up in that world, my street smarts wouldn’t let me trust many people and that really helped me stay safe. I didn’t do private parties, I didn’t use bouncers or pimps, I saw a lot of that but also saw a lot of those same women trapped in “relationships” with their pimps. One of the main ways women get trafficked is by “Romeo pimps”; they get the girl to fall in love with them and then they switch like a light.
There were many attempts by guys and other dancers to get me to work for them. Thankfully my relationship with my now husband kept me from getting swept up in that world. Even still, I know the effects of PTSD that the sum of my life experiences has brought me. It is something that even when you think you heal, you realize that your very DNA has been changed by those experiences. It is a lifelong journey of healing.
I just want to say to everyone, please be really careful who you trust your life with! We don’t have to walk around in fear but we need to walk in wisdom. My life experiences are the reason I’ve had my kids learn self defense from a very young age. The reality is that this world has a lot of wickedness in it and we can’t keep our kids naive for as long as we could before. Teach your kids while they are still young about how to stay safe and what to do if danger comes. Teach them the signs of grooming, gaslighting, and other forms of abuse. Above all else, let’s go after those people who are making this world unsafe for our children. #Savethechildren!