Human Trafficking Case Study 1: Helen

Read the case study that follows. Then, click on the image to take the quiz about Helen.

What do you think?  Click on the image to take the QuizFourteen-year-old Helen lives with her parents in an Aboriginal community in northern B.C., in what's known around town as the "party house". Helen has fetal alcohol syndrome.

From a very young age, Helen’s Uncle Steve – who lives next door – has physically and sexually abused her. A lot of people know about it, but no one says anything. Last year, a boy at Helen's school also sexually assaulted her, but when Helen went to her grandmother for help, her grandmother told her not to tell anyone because the boy was from a powerful family related to the community leader.

Helen starts to drink to cope with the trauma and shame.

At a party one weekend, Uncle Steve takes her into a room with his friend Dave. They force her to take her clothes off and have sex with Steve while Dave films them. Once it's over, Dave pays Steve the $100 they'd agreed to earlier. He then gives Helen $40 and warns her to shut up – if she tells anyone, he’ll post the video online where everyone can see it. He also threatens to do the same thing to her best friend Laura if she doesn't do as he says.

At another party a few days later, Dave hangs around Helen for an hour or two, feeding her alcohol until she passes out. The next day, she wakes up in his car in a strange city. Dave leaves her in a hotel room with two men, who pay Dave $300. Over the next few days, the two men give Helen more alcohol, and tape themselves having sex with her.

Dave eventually comes back to get her. From there, he moves her from city to city, B.C. to Alberta, selling her to new men all the time. One night when Dave is late, Helen is picked up by police outside a seedy motel, obviously drunk. She has no I.D., no money, and no idea where she is.


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