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South Sacramento Sex Trafficking Victims Begin Healing Process

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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SOUTH SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A day after an alleged brothel was busted in South Sacramento, the healing process is slowly starting for the Jane Does 1 through 12.

Sources tell CBS13 they are all over 18 years old, foreign born and of Asian descent. Authorities say in many cases like this, it’s the only life they’ve ever known.

“Very often they are recruited in or forced in at a very young age,” said Margaux Helm with WEAVE, an agency working to stop violence against women.

She says recovery and reacclimation to what most people know as a regular life is an incredibly challenging and delicate process. Women and girls forced into the sex trade are often traumatized, similar to soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“Sometimes they will see their trafficker as their boyfriend, as an intimate partner.”

But of course, that’s far from the truth. The Department of Justice says three people ran a full-fledged brothel out of several South Sacramento homes.

Right after the bust is the crisis stage. Helm says the women will stay in a shelter where counselors will work to restore their self-esteem and show them there is a way out.

“We have many clients at WEAVE who have been through that, come out the other side and then sometimes advocate for other women.”

But one state says four out of five women or girls taken out of the sex trade end up right back in.

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