Monday, September 20, 2010
The teen's desperate cries for help through public blogs and social networking websites documenting her struggles with self mutilation, eating disorders, depression, and illegal drugs culminated when she allegedly, voluntarily, admitted herself to a local mental health facility two weeks ago. Facing the reality of trauma bonding with the predator, 30+ years her age, her attempt to be 'rescued' failed again when she was released. In the Northeast, thousands of miles away from Julie Shematz, faced with no money and where else to turn but to go back to her abuser, she returned to him.
The abuser, aware of the teen's mental disorders and careful to not allow photographs of himself, had assessed her vulnerability via the internet years before and patiently groomed her and others to believe he was a trustworthy, licensed professional, degreed with a doctorate, carrying the title of 'pastor', capable of giving her the recovery services she needed from being sold for sex by her mother and used in occult sexual practices since she was 3 years old. The trafficker arranged the mother to sign off on her parental rights, giving him guardianship of the minor and he allegedly manipulated an unsuspecting couple into transporting her to him. This minor's initial cross state, Texas to Pennsylvania, 'rescue' immediately turned into a nightmare when the physically disabled 'father figure' started coercing her for sex in return for a place to stay and quickly devolved into manipulating her to do sadomasochism pornography and forcing her to dance in strip clubs. Not even being aware that she was a human trafficking victim, her public cries for help, disguised in self mutilation, served as an emotional and expressive outlet to the captivity she was experiencing.
In the United States of America, a minor under the age of 18 years old forced or coerced to perform commercial sex acts (pornography, stripping and prostitution) is a considered a 'severe form of human trafficking'. As this teen educated herself via the internet, through Beauty From Ashes Ministries new website and other websites, about human trafficking in the past 3-6 months, she became aware that she was a victim of severe human trafficking who had been severely emotionally manipulated. Although not openly admitting her victimization, her determination to leave began to overcome the fantasy she had held of being married & living happily ever after with her trafficker.
After advising Julie Shematz that she desperately wanted away from her 'fiancé', Julie kept reminding her that 'where there is a will there is a way' and that there were options for her life, in hopes that suicide would not seem like her only option. That evening the teen googled 'human trafficking' and logged onto Hear Women Talk (HWT), Trafficking. She began communicating privately in chat with Dottie Laster, the host, and some of her HWT team and within in 24 hours of contacting Dottie, an expert in executing rescues of victims and educating the public, including law enforcement and working with agencies across the nation, facilitated the teen and her kitten's escape. With only the clothes on her back, a backpack, laptop and kitten, the escape was a finely tuned plan that included multiple service agencies, private investigators, local and national law enforcement, US Airways and cross country relocation.
Today the teen is in a safe place receiving the comprehensive professional care she needs and deserves. For her protection and to provide her the best services available, she's been relocated four times since Thursday. Yesterday she asked Julie Shematz how she could receive Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord. Her name is now written in the Lamb's Book of life and her new life free from physical & spiritual captivity has officially begun. Please keep Lisbeth (named changed for confidentiality) in your prayers. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. (Corinthians 3:17)
Beauty From Ashes Ministries would like to thank all agencies, individuals, businesses and law enforcement involved in this teenager's rescue. We'd especially like to thank Dottie Laster of Laster Global Consulting and Dan Benedict of the Defender's Foundation.
Hear about the fastest growing crime in the world, human trafficking, and how community partnerships collaborated together to give this teen her escape from slavery this Thursday, September 23 from 1-2pm EST on Hear Women Talk, Trafficking, with host Dottie Laster. Julie Shematz will be her special guest discussing how Beauty From Ashes Ministries was able to be part of this modern day underground railroad and this teen's brave escape.
More news on this story:
On line Talk show helps free a woman from Human Trafficking
In His love & service to see victims set free to become over-comers,
Steve & Julie Shematz & the BFA FREEdom™ Team
Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries
Where Victims Become Over-Comers
Posted by Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries at 2:04 PM