Learning to trust after years of abuse

Written by SAFE

Young female looking forwardLilly entered SAFE CARES after years of being trafficked. Her first shaky steps toward a new life began when she fled an abusive home at the age of 14.

Young, vulnerable, and alone, Lilly soon found herself in the hands of a pimp. At first, she felt cared for, she felt like someone was looking out for her, and she felt like she finally had a life free from the violence she had grown accustomed to. It didn’t take long for that to change.

Her trafficker moved her from state to state and sold her to multiple men. Lilly endured years of abuse and it wasn’t until she became pregnant that she worked up the courage to run away.

She entered the foster care system, which brought her to the SAFE Children’s Shelter. Here, she and her baby entered the Early Childhood and Teen Parent program. A CARES advocate connected with her right away and began building a safe, trusting relationship.

Lilly started coming to the CARES drop-in center, where she met other survivors who had similar stories. When Lilly turned 18, she chose to sign herself out of the foster care system and try things on her own.

A few months later when she found herself in another dangerous situation, Lilly knew to contact the SAFEline. Her CARES advocate picked her up and brought her and her child to SAFE’s Family Shelter. Lilly has received medical care, therapy, and has been working toward long-term housing while using the CARES drop-in center.

More than once, Lilly has said that she has never before been around people who truly support one another. She is finally in an environment where she is learning how to trust and how to heal.