Barbara Amaya’s Story- Profile
“It all looked normal from the outside, but on the inside, there was a lot going on.” Says Barbara Amaya talking about her life when she was 12 years old. Barbara is now a grown women, has a 23-year-old daughter and a grandson who she loves to spoil. She says she is happy and content with her life but it hasn’t always been that way for her.
When Barbara was young her father, older brother, and other family members sexually abused her. When she tried to tell her mother, her mother denied the accusations and said that she was lying about it all. It was that moment that Barbara made the decision to run away from her Virginia home and never look back. She ran away to Washington D.C and she was sitting in a park talking to a woman who she thought was just being nice and who was trying to help her, she later realized that she was picked up by a prostitution ring. “I was hungry and cold and young, and she took me to an apartment. Before I knew it, they put a wig on me, took me to the corner of 14th and I (Streets), and they sold me to a trafficker.”
From then on she was taken to New York City by the man who had purchased her and for nine years she had a set amount of work that she needed to do each night in order to make money. She explains that traffickers just put you down everyday and make you feel like you are nothing but a piece of trash and that your family doesn’t even care about you anymore now that you are gone. Barbara has cuts, scars, and awful marks all over body from being stabbed, beat, cut, and any other horrible thing that could be done to your body. By the time she was 20 years old she became addicted to heroin and only weighed 90 pounds. She knew that she needed to do something to change this mess that she had got herself in, she did not want to continue to be sold like a piece of property. She knew that if she didn’t make a change, she would not have much longer.
As Barbara grew older and after she had escaped the trafficking she gave birth to a daughter who she loved so much. Her daughter grew up and she began to hangout with the wrong crowd. She would run away from her home and it made her mom so sad and upset because her daughter knew everything she had went through when she went away and all the pain and heartache that it caused her. Eventually her daughter I guess you could say “grew up” and realized that running away from home and getting into trouble is not something that brings good to your life. She had a son and now is a loving mother to such a perfect little boy.
Flash forward to present day; Barbara is an award winning, advocate, author, and speaker for human trafficking. She wrote a book called “Nobody’s Girl” and it is a memoir of the traumatized events that she experience through her life and how she managed to escape and change her life for the better. Barbara now goes around and speaks publicly about her tragic childhood and how she grew up in hopes that maybe she can help others who are going through what she did right now and help them escape. There is now a website set up that Barbara created in her name with all the info to get help if you or you know someone who is being trafficked. There are also blogs, bios, and much more to kind of get to know Barbara and how she is doing with her life now. At first she was a little hesitant to open up about her life story but now she feels like she is doing something good, and she hopes to maybe open up the topic of human trafficking a little bit more.