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December 29, 2016

Polaris changed my life

I am a survivor of labor trafficking, brought from Rwanda to the United States under false promises of a decent paying job, but I was forced into domestic servitude and abused. After a long struggle, I've now become an advocate -- I want a path to a successful and productive life and to be an inspiration to others.

I have faced many challenges as a survivor. I spent nearly 2 years with no access to education or health care and was isolated from the rest of the world. I was dehumanized by my traffickers who controlled almost every aspect of my life, including my movements and outside communication. They threatened me if I tried to leave or get help and even denied me proper food and medical care.

One day, I found the courage to leave. I couldn’t take it anymore. But it was terrifying, because as soon as I left the house, I was homeless with nowhere to go. Thankfully, I found Polaris, and today things are going better than I could ever have imagined during those two painful years. Polaris provided me with the support I needed to get back on my feet. They also provided me with emotional support and treated me like family, in a country where I had none. Thanks to Polaris and my own perseverance, I am no longer homeless and am now able to begin healing from my trauma. Polaris has truly changed my life.

If we work together, we can eradicate human trafficking and restore freedom to even more people who have suffered as I have. We have work to do.

Dahlia Okoye*

Human Trafficking Survivor and Advocate

*Name and other identifying information changed to protect the identity of our clients.

How you can help survivors like Dahlia: Spread the word by sharing this blog post or give generously to our year-end campaign that supports crucial programs allow Polaris to restore freedom to victims and survivors. All gifts will be triple matched for 3x the impact. Visit PolarisProject.org/Give

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Blog Posts by Dahlia Okoye