Official Release Date May 26th 2015 Contact me now for book signings/readings/lectures
It has taken me over 40 years to break my silence; I finally feel strong enough to be able to share my story, to reach out to others and hopefully help them in some way by sharing my experiences. I believe that first should be awareness and education and only then can any policy or legislation begin to change.
I was abused and afterwards there was no help, I felt like nothing I did mattered, I didn’t want to go to school or talk to my friends, I felt like I was never good enough or pretty or as smart as the other girls my age. And because I received no validation or therapy for the abuse I suffered, my self-esteem plummeted into nothingness and I became a walking target for traffickers and predators. I believe it is so important to first validate a child’s abuse, and second get them the therapy and help they need. Listen to them.
The summer I turned twelve years old I ran away from my suburban Virginia home. I ran away from home to escape the abuse, and I continued to run away from home dozens and dozens of times between the ages of twelve and thirteen. Sometimes the police would find me and bring me home, or they would take me to detention centers, reform schools and hospitals. I was treated as a juvenile delinquent, and a child who was uncontrollable, never as a young girl who needed assistance or help.
One time after I ran away, a couple found me hungry, cold and in need of shelter on the streets of Washington, D.C. They picked me up and groomed me for prostitution. I was barely thirteen years old. So great was my need for love and attention I would have most likely robbed a bank if they had asked.
After weeks of being trafficked by them in Washington D.C., they sold me to another trafficker who drove me to New York. I was sold like a piece of furniture on the streets of our nation's capitol.
I was exploited by the person who bought me in D.C. over ten horrific trauma filled years, forced to sell my body on the streets of New York City. I tried to leave several times, once even making my way all the way back to my home in Virginia, but I never really succeeded. He always came after me and brought me back to New York.
I grew up while being trafficked.
While I was on the streets of New York City I was beaten, raped, robbed, jailed and even taken to Rikers Island Prison. I was arrested dozens of times.
Today I advocate for the rights of human trafficking victims and all victims of abuse and exploitation everywhere. Through my own adversity I've found strength and my own purpose, I've taken my life back.
If you or someone you know is being trafficked and need help please contact POLARIS 888-373-7888
The Destiny of Zoe Carpenter-full length color graphic novel click BUY NOW for hard copy book portion of sales assist victims of human trafficking today
2004 I never thought my daughter would do this. The irony of the situation was not lost on me. I ran away from home dozens of times when I was even younger than her, and I never gave my mother’s feelings any thought at all. I never had the feeling she gave mine much thought either. Bianca had been asking me questions about my past. Questions I refused to answer.
On the way home I started to cry silently. I cried because I was scared of what happened and afraid of what I had to do now. I had to make my daughter understand. I had to tell her everything about my past.
1972 The gray metal coat hanger hissed through the air and struck my back. Where it hit, the pain was so intense it radiated through my entire body. The thin t-shirt I had on was no defense, and neither were my hands and arms. I tried to shield my face from his blows. He raised his arm, aimed the wire coat hanger and hit me over and over and over. I started to shake uncontrollably. My shirt turned red with my blood and I prayed but no one came to help me, I was all alone and I wanted to die. I huddled in a ball on the floor and tried to go away in my mind. I was 16 years old.