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Jordan was the oldest of three. With her mom and step-dad working evenings, she was often charged with taking care of her two pre-school aged sisters after school. This difficult and large responsibility tended to come with few rewards and a lot of criticism.
On Saturdays, Jordan would take the bus and escape to the mall, roaming around the beautiful stores. One day, an outgoing guy with a great smile followed her. He introduced himself as Mac and told her how beautiful she was. He insisted she have lunch with him in the food court.
Flattered by his attention, and admittedly hungry, she agreed to join him.
Meetings at the mall with Mac became a weekly event. He made Jordan feel special, introducing her to his friends as his girlfriend. He always got her a gift - a heart necklace, new sneakers, or makeup.
Mac did so much for Jordan - buying her gifts, letting her stay over, getting her food. So when he asked her to help, just this once, to cover the rent, she agreed. Jordan didn’t want to do it, but she tried telling herself a few revealing photos this one time wouldn’t be a big deal. "Just this once” turned into more frequent requests, and later, into demands.
By age 17, Jordan was being trafficked weekly in St. Paul’s East metro region. At 2 a.m. a police raid resulted in her being transported to Children’s Hospital. Physically and emotionally depleted, she confessed to a hospital social worker what had been going on, but refused to provide her parents’ contact information. With nowhere else to go, Jordan was brought to 180 Degrees’ Brittany’s Place.
Jordan arrived at Brittany’s Place emotionally shut down. Understandably, after almost two years of being trafficked for sex, she didn’t trust adults, she didn’t trust anyone. For the first week, Jordan mostly slept. Her body was tired. She mostly kept to herself, but showed up for all the family-style meals. She was hungry.
The transition to 180 Degrees' Brittany’s Place wasn’t easy. She missed Mac – he was her first boyfriend, and he had become her family. He would be furious that she broke their secret. However, as her body and mind had time to start healing and experiencing safety, she started to process things differently.
Brittany’s Place’ Parent Liaison provided an important extra support system. Jordan expressed her feelings of isolation in the family and her mom expressed her frustration and fear about not parenting effectively. They started getting to the root of the unhealthy behavior in the family.
Jordan’s trafficking experience will leave life-long scars. However, she has found hope discovering personal strengths and capabilities. Jordan returned home and she and her mom continue to access support each week from Brittany’s Place Case Manager. Jordan’s proud of her personal goals and creating new, healthy relationships.
Thank you for following along with Jordan's story of resilience and healing.
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