Jeni* is a sweet, 15 year old who is filled with hope for her future. However, you would not expect this if you knew what she has been through. About a year ago she met a woman who pretended to be her friend. This older woman was extremely kind to Jeni. She bought her things and acted like a true friend by caring for her but all of this was just a pretense to earn Jeni’s trust.
After three short weeks she introduced Jeni to a street gang that raped, drugged, and trafficked her. They held her hostage in 2 disgusting homes in Orange County. In her captivity, they took pictures of her and posted them on websites designed for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
For two weeks, Jeni was raped repeatedly by multiple commercial sex customers while she was forced to walk the street. Every penny these customers paid went directly to the gang leader who controlled her.
Thankfully, law enforcement came to her aid and brought her out of her misery. They successfully arrested one of the traffickers and are currently investigating to bring others involved in the trafficking ring to justice.
Her recovery was just the beginning of a long road towards a new life and Florida Abolitionist’s victim services program was there from the start. Immediately, she received a rescue backpack that caused her such joy it brought her to tears. She has received placement in a residential facility to begin to treat her substance addiction and her psychological condition due to the trauma she endured. Over time, her wounds are healing. While the journey has not been easy and has been met with setbacks, she is growing and is now doing a lot better.
Florida Abolitionist’s victim services program continues to care for Jeni. When we learned that she is a huge basketball fan, we went to work to bless her with a gift that she would love - a basketball autographed by the Orlando Magic! She also expressed the interest in reading the Bible but didn’t have one, so FA gave her one thanks to the generous donation of a local church. These are small gestures, but we hope that they communicate to Jeni that she has value and is loved. Now we see hope in her eyes and are humbled to have played a small part in her ongoing restoration.