Photo illustration by Catholic News Service
A Portland human trafficking victim has shared her story to create a curriculum with Northwest Family Services.
Photo illustration by Catholic News Service
A Portland human trafficking victim has shared her story to create a curriculum with Northwest Family Services.
In an effort to help young people avoid what she experienced, a woman known as Amy has shared her story of human trafficking with a Portland social service non-profit, Northwest Family Services.

The Portland metro area has become a hub of child sex trafficking in part due to the large volume of legal adult entertainment venues.

“It’s a problem that won’t go away without addressing the issues behind it,” says Portland Police Sex Trafficking Unit Officer, Mike Gallagher. “That means going after the demand side, targeting the traffickers and working with the victims who are forced into prostitution through a variety of means. This is not the victimless crime that people often think it is.”

In winter 2012, Amy, a pre-school teacher, met a charming young man on a popular dating site. Mark bought Amy lavish gifts and made sure she went to the salon to get her hair and nails done.

Ultimately, Mark revealed his true intentions and became Amy’s pimp.

“He had me convinced that nobody else would ever love me or take me back,” Amy says. When Portland Police finally found Amy in a hotel room, they knew she was a victim. Her sex trafficker, Mark, was sitting in the lobby with a couple thousand dollars in cash.

Amy says she wishes she had been more brave.

Northwest Family Services’ “Deceptions” curriculum was created at the request of law enforcement in Vancouver, Wash.Vancouver Police realized that sex trafficking had become an epidemic in Pacific Northwest schools, including the Portland Metro area. The three-hour curriculum follows Amy’s story, with the use of videos, discussions, and activities that introduce students to the concept of sex trafficking, healthy relationships and boundaries, internet safety, and more.

“Deceptions” is geared towards middle and high school students in a school based format.