Madam Speaker, Jennifer’s childhood was violently chaotic. By her early twenties, she was living on the streets, begging and stealing to survive.
After a local gang member suspected that she may have stolen his money, her life became even more horrific and hellish. The gangster beat her mercilessly with a baseball bat until she collapsed, and then he and other gang members pistol-whipped her and burned her with cigarettes.
They tattooed their names all over her body, branding her as property. For 6 years, they held her in slavery, forcing her to have sex with countless men for money.
Desperate, Jennifer tried to kill herself, but when the rope broke, she resolved to escape. Luckily for Jennifer, she found a shelter and was able to rebuild her life.
She covered up the traffickers’ names with flowers and the words ‘‘free yourself.’’ We, as a society, owe it to Jennifer and survivors like her to protect them and put the slave masters in the jailhouse, where they belong.
And that is just the way it is.