Six months ago, Barbara Amaya said she was watching a story on television about teenage girls being trafficked for sex in her Northern Virginia neighborhood when she realized that she, too, had been the victim of sex trafficking — four decades earlier.
“I didn’t know I had been trafficked,” she told an audience during a panel discussion on human trafficking sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation and the Women’s Federation for World Peace at The Washington Times. “I viewed myself as a prostitute.”
Ms. Amaya, now 56, said she was a 13-year-old runaway from Fairfax when she was sold into sex trafficking at 14th and Eye Streets in the District and later was taken to New York City where she was trafficked for eight years. Like a lot of girls forced into sex trafficking, she said she had been abused as a child and at 12, began running away from home.
“I was a walking target,” she said. “I didn’t have low self-esteem, I had no self- esteem.
“I was raped so many times, I can’t remember. I became addicted to heroin and numb to what happened to me,” she said, adding that her trafficker dumped her when she was “no longer valuable to him.”
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