When Bay first called our helpline, they told us they had to be very careful because they couldn’t leave their home just yet. Their spouse had all of their money and legal paperwork, and would threaten Bay with deportation if they didn’t hand over all of their income as soon as they were paid. Bay needed help getting back control of their finances and documents so they could finally leave.
Through this initial conversation, our helpline team learned that Bay was experiencing labor trafficking and connected them to our Legal Advocacy department. Because of Bay’s safety concerns, communication was very limited – they would call us when they could, but it took months of scattered phone calls and bursts of planning before Bay was finally able to escape.
Our Legal Advocacy team helped coordinate with partner agency Community Legal Aid SoCal, as well as local Law Enforcement to ensure Bay felt safe to leave when the time came. Bay successfully moved to a safe location and has continued working with our Legal Advocacy team to obtain a restraining order against their spouse, started divorce proceedings, and is working on getting back all of their legal documents. Bay has also begun to meet with a clinical advocate at Radiant Futures to discuss their experiences and process their trauma.
Bay expressed surprise and gratitude that there was such a large network of organizations and individuals who were willing to work together to help them escape from their trafficker. They are relieved to be free and to have control over their own life again.