LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The movie Sound of Freedom has made headlines lately for its attempt to spread awareness of human trafficking.

Sadly, though, human trafficking has been a problem for years now, and Michigan consistently ranks in the top 10 states for human trafficking activity.

One survivor, right here in Lansing, has lived this harsh reality.

“At the age of 10 and 11, I was molested by a family friend,” she said.

The local survivor, now a grown woman, is talking about her traumatic childhood. She said this type of story is common among victims of trafficking–and often, this trauma leads to addiction.

“I got on drugs really, really bad, in part to cover up the trauma, and that led to me being sex trafficked, because I had to sell my body to get the drugs,” said the survivor.

Though phrases like ‘sex trafficking’ often conjure images of traffickers exploiting women and girls from other countries–in reality, many of the victims are American people from places just like mid-Michigan, the survivor said.

Traffickers use this dependence on drugs on to keep people trapped in a cycle of selling their bodies for money.

“So I have to live in a dope house with a man that is having me sell my body and then takes the money. I was scared of him and I was under his wing, because I had nowhere to go, so I did what he said,” the survivor said.

It was a cycle that took years to break. After having kids, though, she knew she needed help.

So she entered rehab in 2019, and soon she learned of the organization House of Promise. It’s a group in Lansing that gives victims of sex trafficking a safe place to heal.

“They get medical needs done, dental needs done, because so many of the girls have not had any of that, so it’s just rebuilding their lives one block at a time, and they can stay here for up to two years,” said Shari Montgomery, founder of House of Promise.

It was no easy task, but with the organization’s help, the survivor is back on her feet, living in her own apartment, gaining custody of her kids again.

House of Promise wants everyone to know, if you need help, just call them.

If you or someone else needs help, you can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline.