The gangs in Honduras began harassing Ana* when she was only 14. But after being abandoned by both of her parents when she was young, Ana’s support system was minimal. Beta Martinez, who works in the Clinic’s Immigrant Justice Program, says that the gangs waited for Ana to leave school in the afternoons. “They were telling her, ‘You need to be ours,’” she says.
When it comes to the typical victim profile, Tracy says, “I think it’s important for people to know that trafficking doesn’t just happen in the urban city. It can happen in Carmel. It can happen in Fishers—that it can be a girl meets a boy at a party. It’s not ‘those’ kids. It can happen to anyone.”
Such upsetting cases can be difficult to see everyday, so Patti and the rest of the VJP staff try to remember the higher purpose behind their work. Patti says, “This population is what I would consider the most vulnerable, especially the immigrants and human trafficking victims. So just knowing that we’re called to help the vulnerable, I would say that really, when it’s hard, you just reflect on that. These are the people who need help the most.”