This is Katlyn. She’s 14.
She lives with her mom and loves art.
She wants to become an architect and travel the world.
Katlyn dreamed big just like her dad always said she should.
Katlyn’s mom started using drugs when her dad died.
There is never enough food and way too much yelling.
Katlyn starts staying later and later at friends’ houses.
She was always hungry but didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on.
One night, Katlyn met an older girl at a bus stop.
She was nice and bought Katlyn a soda and hamburger.
They talked and talked. Her dad had died, too.
She said her foster dad would let Katlyn stay with them.
The first night, she slept and shared a room with her new friend.
The next day, Katlyn got up to go to school, but the foster dad at the house said she needed to work to pay for her night’s stay.
She didn’t know what a 14-year-old could do.
Then, her friend said, “let me know show you the rules here.”
That night, Katlyn was given new clothes. Sexy clothes.
And shoes that were way too tall and big.
Katlyn cried the first time she was pushed into a car with an older man.
She was told she had to make $500 a night or be beaten.
Night after night, Katlyn was having sex with 5 to 10 men.
She was sold online. In hotels. In cars. Anywhere.
She was to give “daddy” all the money.
She missed school.
One night, it was so cold and “daddy” still made Katlyn go on the streets.
She walked in the freezing rain.
A man pulled over. He said she looked cold and asked if she needed help.
Katlyn didn’t want to be beaten, so she said no.
The man came the next night. And, the next. And, the next.
He kept bringing food. One night, he said he was a police officer and wanted to help.
He said, “I know you are a child. And, it doesn’t seem like you want to be here.”
Katlyn started to cry.
“I’m 14 and I am out here selling my body for food and a place to stay.”
The detective said, “come with me. You are not alone. There are people who will support you.”