Justice for Trafficking Victims: ‘Guardian Angels’ Provide Shelter, Seek Solutions 

April 6, 2021

Kris Wade was only 18 years old when she left home with $30 in her pocket. She boarded a train to Chicago, Illinois, and, within minutes of arriving at Dearborn Station, was approached by a man who offered her a place to stay and something to eat. “I’d spent all my money on the train ticket and had only $1 left, so I followed him,” Kris says. “He bought me a hot dog and took me to a two-bedroom apartment on the third floor of a neighborhood in the city’s North end.” The apartment turned out to be a hub for drug dealers and small-time gang members who were running a prostitution ring from the building.

“I came from a loving family of fabulous parents and was an honor roll student and president of the debate team in high school,” Kris says. “But I wanted to be on my own. Within a day of leaving home, I fell in with drug dealers. I was at their mercy for a long time.”

Kris managed to escape, but not before witnessing a murder. “I have my parents to thank for taking me back,” she says. “Unlike other women, I have a family that loved and cared about me. Many women in similar circumstances have no home and no one to turn to.”

Now 69, Kris is one of the lucky ones. After escaping her abductors, she put herself through college, earned a degree in criminal justice and became a fierce advocate for homeless female trafficking survivors, working closely with Sisters of Mercy who are also engaged in the fight. “What happened to me is as prevalent today as it was 50 years ago,” she says. “Human trafficking has been going on for thousands of years.”

Read the full article by Deborah Herz from ¡Viva! Mercy (PDF)

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