135 Years, 135 Stories title image

Leaving “the life” behind

MAUI, California

My name was Rain when I was “in the life.” Today I’m an 18-year old and survivor of domestic sex trafficking and forced prostitution. I am also an advocate for myself and other young girls and women.

I can’t tell you anything about my childhood. I can’t even remember too much about my years before I was turned out at 11. My mom died when I was a baby, and my dad for the most part wasn’t around for me. I didn’t have my dad, so my pimp raised me and became my “daddy.”

There were other girls that lived at his house, and for the first couple of weeks he took me out and treated me good, and then one night he told the older girls to “take Rain out with you.” I was 11 and didn’t know what to do but you had to catch on. I didn’t know this til later but because I was young, he knew I would make around $1,500 a night and work four to five nights a week. I gave him all my money because at that time he owned me.

As I got older at 14 and 15, I was taken out of Los Angeles and I was brought to the other side of the United States by bus and sometimes in the trunk of a car. I went to Florida four times, to Sacramento, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Little Rock, Atlanta, Georgia, Jacksonville, Houston, etc. I also was put to work on the Internet through ads posted on Craigslist and Redbook. Since I was older then I’d make around $1,200 a night for him.

I was arrested six or seven times and I’ve been at Crittenton Services three times and each time it’s helped me to grow stronger. They help me by allowing me to be safe and breathe. They are people who care about me and I can talk with them and they won’t hurt me. They respect me and are there for me. They gave me the opportunity to go to Washington, DC to share my story with Congressional representatives and I met Demi Moore too. Going there made a big impression on me and I’d like to keep being and advocate for young women like me.

At Crittenton I learned that I have good options for my future and don’t have to go back to “the life.” Today, I’m in a transitional living program and in an apartment continuing to learn how to make good choices and take advantage of the support services available. It’s been winding road but I know I’m on the right track and I’m going back to Washington, DC in June.

Maui's Story Photo

Note: Maui is pictured third from the left with actress and advocate Demi Moore, third from the right.