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I see hope in them is because I see it in the mirror," Leonard added.She is now working for the same transitional living program, Coram Deo, that she said saved her life."They not forgotten. They are not lost. They are not trash. We are looking for them," Leonard added.It was there that she said she had a level of understanding most of us will never know."For someone who been sex trafficked or exploited, I get what it like to be robbed of your dignity," she said. "I get what it like to walk around looking at the ground, because it hard to look society in the face. I get that."From the ages of 9 12, she said she lived a tough life on the streets of Connecticut, sold to men for sex by a heroin addicted mother.

Sex trafficking survivor now helps victims

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view it as trafficking anymore, she viewed it as a choice she was making."This is a choice I making at 11 years old, not able to put it together that I didn have a choice, I was being manipulated and coerced," Leonard added.Her trafficker was hooked on heroin."I thought my mother needed me, that she would be sick and lost without me and at 10 years old, that was the burden that laid on my shoulders; making money so she didn have to be sick," she added.William Rivera, director of Multi cultural Affairs for the Department of Children and Families, said sex trafficking recruiters get their "workers" to believe that it is a good thing "an OK thing and in some cases if they get hurt, Hermes Black Sandals

it their fault, which in actuality it is not."While Leonard has a long list of arrests and convictions for crimes, including prostitution, she has come a long way since then and said her faith pulled her through the tough times."That happens on every corner in every one of our cities in Connecticut. It happens on the Berlin Turnpike. It happens in the airport. In Wethersfield, Bloomfield. This is real, it happens in our backyard and guess what, that unacceptable to me," Leonard said.Rivera, who oversees the human trafficking response team, said sex trafficking is, and has been, a problem for a long time.Since 2008, Rivera said there have been more than 200 sex trafficking cases reported to the agency."And everyone gets investigated, all confirmed victims are high risk," Rivera said.Today, Leonard is giving back to women living in Dsquared Heels Virginia Sandals the same nightmare she survived."These are lost, broken women who are hopeless, feel hopeless, but I see hope in every single one of them, and the reason Genuine Tod's Shoes

NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) A Berlin woman is sharing her story 30 years after she was sold for sex by the woman who gave her life, and is now helping other victims who were sex trafficked too."At 9 years old my hair was done, put on make up and provocative clothes for the highest bidder. As I got older, I realized I was trafficked and sold to the highest bidder," said Theresa Leonard.The sexual exploitation of children is a multi billion dollar industry, and it not only happening overseas and across the country, but right here in Connecticut.Leonard is a survivor now helping others deal with the same demons she couldn escape until six years ago."I was trafficked. I was robbed, I was beaten, I was starved," Leonard said, adding that she was sold for sex by her own mother. "I was put in a corner and sold to the highest bidder."Leonard said she never had a permanent place to call home. In fact, she was abandoned at birth."My mother left the hospital without me and I ended up in DCF (Department of Children and Families) system. I went from foster home to foster home to foster home," Leonard said.During a scheduled parental visit six years later, Leonard said she was kidnapped by her mother before they went into hiding, and lived a life on the run.Every day, Leonard, now 42, said multiple men paid to have sex with her, including her mother boyfriend who was also their pimp."It was do this or I going to beat you and your mom," Leonard said, adding that the sex trafficking lasted until she was 12 years old and her mother boyfriend was locked up.Leonard said once he was gone, she didn Tod's City Gommino Review

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