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.
When Jordan turned 15 she started leaving home regularly. Life there felt overwhelming and isolating. She was often faced with a painful feeling that she wasn’t she part of the family. Born to a different father, her mom’s first husband, Jordan looked different than her sisters. To her mom, Jordan reminded her of a failed relationship, which created an unhealthy family dynamic.
Flattered by his attention, and admittedly hungry, she agreed to join him.
Jordan’s new clothes and jewelry aroused suspicion at home, but she refused to reveal information about her new boyfriend. Mac wanted their relationship to be just between them. Jordan’s parents responded by restricting her activity, but the relationship deepened.
Over the next year, conflict in the family escalated, turning physical. Jordan responded by leaving home almost every weekend, saying she was with friends, but often staying with Mac. He would say he understood her, reminding her, “They shouldn’t be treating you that way. I’ve got your back, you belong with me.”
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.
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.
Jordan was new to relationships. She thought what she had been experiencing was love. However, gathering with staff and other girls at Brittany’s Place each week in a “Healthy Relationships” group, Jordan’s perspective changed. She learned the traits of healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Working with a mental health counselor, Jordan agreed to re-connect with her mom.
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.
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