“Kiki” was used to being on the run. She didn’t get along with her adoptive mother very well, and her solution was always the same: escape. Whenever they had an argument or Kiki felt overwhelmed she would simply leave the house, telling herself she needed to clear her head.
One day, after a big fight, Kiki took off to New York. She escaped the fights and the conflict at home, but she found something altogether worse: human trafficking.
Over and over again while in New York, Kiki was forced to exchange her body for shelter and food. She was away from home for over a month before she finally returned home to DC where she heard about Second Story for Teens in Crisis.
Counselors and staff gently asked about Kiki’s experience, but she was hesitant to share any of her memories. So instead, staff decided to get to the root of Kiki’s struggles — the anger that drove her to run away and the way being trafficked had shrunk her self-esteem. When she left, Kiki shared how grateful she was to Second Story for coming alongside her when she was at her lowest point.
Kiki moved from the teen shelter to a residential home for girls who have been sexually exploited. Kiki is on the path to healing, with Second Story being a safe first stop on her journey.