Human Trafficking Case: Impact on Eve

My Story: Feel like I’m only good for one thing, sex… I feel unworthy, dirty, tainted, nothing; basically lost two and a half to three years of my life. - EveEve was 18 when Imani Nakpangi was arrested. The Victim Impact Statement she provided to the judge during sentencing describes the emotional effects, physical injuries and financial consequences of being trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

The following are direct quotes taken from Eve’s Victim Impact Statement. This is Eve’s story in her own words, though her name has been changed to protect her identity:

“The emotional impact: Constantly looking over my shoulder afraid either Imani or his friends are going to come after me for putting him in jail. I don’t feel safe at home. He knows where I live and what my family looks like and where they live. Hard for me to have relationships with other men because I’m always suspicious they are trying to take advantage of me like Imani did. I have nightmares about him. I have low self-esteem. Feel like I’m only good for one thing, sex. I don’t see why someone, a man, would be interested in me and try to get to know me because I feel unworthy, dirty, tainted, nothing; basically lost two and a half to three years of my life being with Imani. I should have completed my high school diploma, instead I’m 32 credits short, I’m basically in grade nine because Imani wouldn’t let me go to school, now I’m facing a maximum of two years to try and finish school. Relationship with my family — because they don’t understand what I went through, I feel alone in that aspect and if I am not a good person in their eyes then to put them through tragedy. I feel like the black sheep in the family and they look down on me and are ashamed of me.

“Physical injuries: I have panic anxiety attacks. I’m always afraid I have AIDS because of the fact that I slept with so many men I didn’t know. I feel my heart is weak from all the drugs, and [I’m] afraid my cocaine use will negatively affect me in the future. All this has turned me into a hypochondriac. I wake up every day feeling sick to my stomach. Been so stressed this week I’ve been vomiting. I’m scared I’m going to go crazy. I frequently go to the doctors to get tested for everything. Because of him I was put in situations [where] I was beat up, robbed, assaulted by him and clients, and some of the girls he brought around.

“Financial impact: When I left Imani I left with absolutely nothing, no clothes, no personal items. I gave him thousands of dollars and I have nothing to show for it. I had asked him to buy me braces with the money I earned and never got them. All the while he drove around in a BMW I bought him, buying himself jewellery, expensive furniture, nice clothes, pieces of art, a large home in Niagara Falls for the mother of his child, jewellery; a car for which she crashed a week in for drunk driving. Paid vacation for her, the mother of his child, and other girls, all of which I paid for. Now I have to struggle to pay for school, rent and to survive. He’s promised me a car and a home.”

Reality Check – As a service provider, would you have identified Eve as a trafficked minor? How does Eve’s Victim Impact Statement help you understand the complex trauma that a trafficked person experiences? (See Module 4 for more information on the issues of trauma, supports and referrals for trafficked persons. You’ll read more about Eve’s recovery in Module 4.)

 

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