“Brandy” was originally trafficked at the age of 16 years old. She was then trafficked consecutively for the next 10 years of her young life. Growing up, Brandy experienced repeated childhood sexual abuse and physical and emotional neglect at the hands of her drug-addicted caretakers. Her basic needs for warm clothes, adequate shelter or food often went unmet. Brandy was taught from a young age that she had no one else she could rely on. When she needed money to survive, her trafficker played on her vulnerabilities and manipulated her into working at a strip club. She was seeking someone to take care of her, to support her, to show her some kindness and he exploited her. He trafficked Brandy in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland for the next ten years by selling her online.
Brandy came to FAIR Girls after what felt like a lifetime of abuse. However, from the start of working with her FAIR Girls case manager, Brandy demonstrated a level of determination and self-motivation that impressed everyone she came in contact with. She came to FAIR Girls needing support and court advocacy related to criminal charges she received while being trafficked. Brandy stayed at FAIR Girls' Vida Home for the full 90 days and actively engaged in her own healing by accessing the wraparound services offered to her through many FAIR Girls partners in the DMV area, including legal services, medical treatment for conditions caused by years of abuse, transitional housing programs, clothing support for work clothes, and support for obtaining scholarships. She is working with her new lawyers to get access to justice by getting her criminal record expunged. Her health continues to improve as she has finally been able to access the medical treatment she needs. With support from her FAIR Girls case manager, Brandy obtained a job as a customer support specialist and was able to find her own apartment that she can afford. After earning a scholarship and working hard to complete her certified program, Brandy is getting ready to graduate and will begin her career as nursing assistant. Since the time Brandy first walked through the doors of the Vida Home, with the support and resources she deserves, she has only continued to heal, grow and develop healthy peer relationships.
With the support FAIR Girls offered, the kind of support she had been looking for her whole life, coupled with her courage, determination, and perseverance, Brandy is now not only surviving, but thriving.