Stories of Human Trafficking Survivors in Washington State

They said they would pay me to work in their home and take care of their children. I was locked inside their house. I worked from 6am to 10pm every day with no days off. They did not pay me the agreed amount. They used to threaten me. They controlled everything I did.

He promised me work then forced me to give up my passport, my wages, my freedom.

He promised me a place to stay and then forced me into prostitution.

She promised me a better life and then forced me to work, threatened my family, and kept me as a hostage and a slave.

I was never allowed to go anywhere by myself. They took my documents. They threatened me with deportation and jail. I was a slave and a prisoner. I was hopeless, depressed and scared. I didn’t see any future for myself at all.

They promised to bring us to the U.S., then they took my children from me and forced me to pay thousands of dollars to get them back. They forced my young sons to work in construction and to sleep in a storage unit on concrete floor. They didn’t give them food for days and days.

My uncle told my parents I’d have a better life and education in the U.S. He forced me to work in his restaurant and treated me as a slave in his home. He hit me when I asked to go to school. He threatened me when I cried or complained.

My wife and I were forced to do agricultural and construction work to pay off our debt. Our small children were abused and forced to do household chores. We were all forced to live in the garage and were threatened with deportation. Food was locked up and we were not allowed to eat without permission.

My brother said I could come to the US and go to school. Then his buddies forced me to sell drugs and give them all the money. They were very violent. They threatened to hurt my mom. I had to do what they said. I ended up in jail.

She offered me a job in the U.S. working in her restaurant. When I got here I was locked in an apartment and forced to have sex with 10, sometimes 20, men every day. Every one of them raped me. She told me she had all the power because I was “illegal.”

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