Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Testimony :: Ms. Leisa B.
a survivor of domestic trafficking -


When I was 9 years old, I went on a family vacation to Washington D.C. I loved the city, the diversity of the people, the beautiful architecture. In my mind, D.C was the “perfect” place to live; I had no idea, that in a few short years, I would become a slave to it.

I began my decline to insanity in Atlanta, Georgia, where I resided with my parents, in a well off, upper middle class neighborhood. At this time in my life, age 17, I had already established a pretty good reputation for being “out of control”, “unruly”, or many would have claimed me to be reckless. On a “local” phone chat line, I had connected with a guy that sold me dreams of fancy cars, expensive clothes, lavish homes, and the freedom of running around in an adult’s world. I was on the first greyhound to D.C, with the impression of happiness. Although the bus ride was a short one, the life that it lead me into would last me a lifetime.

After only a few months on the streets of D.C, I became familiar with the “lay of the land” and was constantly moving from Washington D.C, to Maryland, and back; partially to avoid an arrest, and also the crowd of people I was around was consistently changing. In August of 2002, I was arrested for “Solicitation of an Undercover” and was placed in a juvenile detention center for a month, with the intention of going right back to the streets. The streets were all that I knew at this point. About a month after my release I began to work for another pimp, who explained how much more money I would make in Miami. So, we began are long drive from Washington D.C to Florida, just me, my pimp and one of his drug buddies. I worked in Florida for three weeks before I was again, arrested for Solicitation of an Undercover officer. I was incarcerated under a fake name, for I was still only 17, and released again a week later to the same streets I was arrested on. Shortly after I began to work for a new pimp out in Miami, traveling around various parts of the state to meet different dates. Miami was a difficult place for me to work, the rapes and the beating began to get harder and harder to deal with, so I bought a greyhound bus ticket, and returned back to D.C to live with some friends.

The vicious cycle continued when I met yet another pimp that I began to work with who was even worse then the other three that I had, so again I ran from the situation. I would mostly take the train back and forth from Maryland, never staying in one place long enough to be known. A few days after the “declaration of my retirement” from the game, I noticed I was once again broke, and knew how to solve the problem. I contacted my 1st pimp who was now living in Brooklyn, New York, and told him to come pick me up in D.C. He left his 4 other girls in New York, and drove to D.C to come get me. We stayed a night in D.C so I could work; then we drove to Brooklyn, where I would work for another month or so. During this time in New York, we would make random trips to Atlantic City, during the big fighting events. Our pimp hired a drug dealer to drive 4 of us in a van, while he followed behind with another girl in his car. He used to say it would look “hot” for there to be five white girls, and a black man driving a nice truck.

Once again, working got old, so I made the choice to call my parents and ask for help. They paid for a greyhound ticket over then phone, for me to pick up in Manhattan, and return in Atlanta. I have been home ever since, off the streets, away from the drama and finally becoming successful.