Survivor Gallery: Kelly Wells (Cody)

Kelly Wells (Cody) is a survivor of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. She wrote her first book Who Am I, Discovering the Value and Worth of Women as a way to overcome, forgive, and heal from her trauma. In 2016, Kelly wrote In Full Bloom, a poem that was published in the U.S. Library of Congress.

In Full Bloom

A life interrupted
Like an hourglass in motion
Suddenly stopped
By all the commotion.

Looking, seeking, wanting help
But lips sealed shut by the mere thought of survival and fear.
Who will I tell? Who will believe me if I tell my side of the story?

Trapped is what I feel
Inside of thoughts as if it were unreal.
While deep inside screaming and yelling
Someone please help me, Someone please help me!
All the while dying inside.

Mute is what I feel.
While living in this asylum of shame.
Did I do this? Is this all my fault?
Maybe I will just “suck it up” and move on.

“Stay silent.”
“Don’t say a word.”
“No one will believe you.”
Were the words I so often heard.

From five to fifteen the pain remained the same.
Man after man with just a different name.
The daily remembrance from the childhood that was stolen and snatched away.
Innocence lost and replaced with shame.

Every burn.
Every scar.
Every mark left behind is a reminder of the pain.

Today, yeah today is a different day, God says I was not to blame.
Those scars.
Those burns.
Those marks left behind will be the very motivation to draw the line.

Enough is enough. No more lost childhoods.
Help, fight, listen is my prayer.
End human trafficking and let us know you care.
Shattered I no longer see.

I am made beautiful as beautiful can be.
My life is no longer determined by the painful memory.
I am shameless and blameless for all to see.
Life is no longer determined by what you did to me.

Now I smile with a joyful heart because I’m at peace with who God made me.
Perfect, blameless, and shameless is what he sees as He has set me free.
Free from bondage. Free from fear.
Free from survival and Free to love me.

Thankful is what I am now that I live in peace and joy from being restored.
Love is what I feel now and has wiped away the pain.
I fight for change to help make a difference and save one, two, or three.

Every life matters as you can see and I hope you will join me to save another childhood, to bloom, to blossom, and be set free.


Kelly Wells (previously Kelly Cody) is a survivor of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Kelly was trafficked at the age of 15 years old and sustained a childhood riddled with abuse, teenage years filled with trauma, and an early adulthood that was reflective of her childhood experiences. Kelly’s childhood trauma impacted her life, not only from the mental health perspective and her self esteem, but also in the decision for her future career choices. Eventually Kelly went to college and graduated with honors from California State University San Bernardino with dual degrees in Sociology and Social Work. Upon completion of two bachelors degrees, Kelly went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in Social Work with Summa Cum Laude honors. In 2015, she wrote and published a book titled Who Am I, Discovering the Value and Worth of Women. This book was written in hopes that girls and women could better understand their value and worth from a biblical perspective. This is what helped Kelly to overcome, forgive and heal from her trauma. In 2016, she wrote a poem that was published in the U.S. Library of Congress titled “In Full Bloom.” Kelly has since opened Changing Tides Counseling & Behavioral Health LLC, a private mental health practice in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC area where she serves as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. The goal of this private practice/clinic is to provide supportive services to clients as they strive to live in a state of normalcy from a holistic perspective. 

Need help? Polaris operates the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline.