Cassie had been missing for two years when she called Safe House Project....
Growing up in the foster care system, Cassie experienced abandonment in many forms. While her mother was unable to care for her, Cassie's father chose not to. She moved from home to home, from program to program, looking for someone to listen to her and love her.
She was 14 the first time she was trafficked. With no ability to get out of her situation, Cassie was trapped in a cycle of abuse and exploitation for years. As a 17-year-old, she met a truck driver who was willing to help her escape, and she left her trafficker without looking back. Together they set out across the country to what Cassie thought would be her freedom. When her rescuer degraded her, she reminded herself that this was her only chance at a different life. When he raised his hand against her, she told herself that this was a better option than being with her trafficker. When he sexually assaulted her, she clung to the belief that someday, she would be free.
10 days after her 18th birthday, Cassie decided she’d had enough. Without a thought as to where she would go, her boyfriend dropped her off thousands of miles from home. Cassie called the emergency support team at Safe House Project, and today she is safe and excited about what her newfound freedom means for the rest of her life.
As she applies to restorative care programs, Cassie is experiencing love and acceptance for the first time in years. Because of her remarkable courage, Cassie has hope for the future.