Foster Care| Abandonment |Homelessness| Sex Trafficking| Realtor Estate
A human trafficking victim, not a prostitute! We are not able to choose the family, or circumstances in which we are born; that is divinely ordained. Kamera Stone certainly wish she were born in a loving family that gave her all the life skills she needed to face the challenges of this world, but that was not her reality.
How it Started
Kamera Stone was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to drug addict parents. At the age of four (4) Kamera along with her four (4) siblings were removed from their parent’s custody. Kamera and one (1) of her sibling went into foster care, while her other three (3) siblings were taken by different family members; all her siblings did not have the same biological fathers. Kamera was adopted sometime after being in the State’s custody, and thought life took a turn for the better. To her dismay, three (3) years after the adoption, her adoptive parents relinquished their parental rights. Somewhere between the age of nine (9) and twelve (12) she was again a ward of the state. Kamera was shuffled around to approximately fifty (50) different foster homes in different cities. Prior to age eighteen (18) she decided to search for her biological family, and was successful. She felt she was developing a relationship with her mother and decided she wanted to live with her.
Vulnerability of Homelessness
Kamera planned to get into trouble with the intention of being removed from foster care, hoping her mother would be her “knight in shining armor” and rescue her, and they would live happily ever after. Prior to her eighteenth (18th) birthday she got the courage to put her plan in action. She stole and spent a fifty (50) dollar gift card from the store in which she worked, and got caught as planned. Her plan of being removed from foster care and sent to her mother fell through. Instead she was taken to jail by her case worker, on her eighteenth (18th) birthday. Her bail was one hundred (100) dollars, however, her mother refused to pay bail. After leaving jail, Kamera took a grey hound bus to Oklahoma City to live with her mother, but again faced rejection when two (2) weeks later she was told she had to leave. While staying with her mother she met a young man and they started communicating. She told him she had nowhere to go, and her mother wanted her to leave. He said that she could stay with him and in that conversation stated that he “takes escorts where they need to go.” To that Kamera responded “are you a cab driver?” Being naive to the world she was about to enter. He said “no, I pimp hoes.” This was new information for her, as she did not know that he was a pimp. The vulnerability of homelessness worked against her as she had nowhere to go and moved in with him.
The young man took this as an opportunity to exploit her and she was no longer able to go back to her job. Kamera was terrified to report him to the police; fearful that he may hurt her, and desperate since she had nowhere else to go. She stayed with him for a few months dancing in clubs etc., but summoned the courage to leave when another victim she danced with in a club told her that she had a friend in Texas that could “help her get on her feet.”
Victims Recruit Victims
Kamera went to Texas only to be re-victimized. The man in Texas was also a pimp; more atrocious than the one she left. She ended up dancing among other things while the pimp took all the money. She was physically and emotionally distressed with no support system, and no way of getting out of this horrific brutal situation. Trapped in this horrendous situation because of her dependency, and having nowhere to go. After spending about a month in Texas, the same “friend” from the club told Kamera she was now in Florida and Kamera joined her. When she came to Florida, it was a replay of the same situation; however, it got more dreadful. The new pimp took the girls to different states for prostitution. As a result Kamera now has two (2) misdemeanors and one (1) felony charge for prostitution; a felony and misdemeanor in Florida, and a misdemeanor in Las Vegas. Kamera knew she had to get out of this monstrous world and break the vicious cycle, but needed help as she did not have the financial and other resources to do it on her own.
A Way Out
One of her clients, a married “sugar daddy” helped her to get ‘on her feet’. He paid for her car, apartment, and a certification course; a “john” gave her a way out of sex trafficking, and ultimately saved her life. She now tries her best to help those she can by sharing her story. Life is not perfect; however, she is optimistic about what the future holds. Like most victims she is afraid to speak openly about her journey fearful of being “victim shamed” and re-traumatized. Most people ask “why couldn’t you just run away? Or state that trafficked victims are prostitutes. The reality is most people cannot relate to something they have not themselves experience. Most people fail to see that the chains of human trafficking are often mental and not physical, hence the inclusion of “force, fraud, or coercion” in the definition. It is also a reality that physical chains are more easily broken than mental chains; it is difficult to escape yourself; victims spend a lifetime healing from this trauma.
Love and Affection
Kamera believes that the lack of love and affection received by foster children results in their gravitation towards older man to play the “daddy role.” They lack a familial support system, and this lack of social support results in them being victimized by traffickers who know what to say to manipulate them; by playing on their emotions. This desire for love and support has resulted in a huge number of trafficked victims coming from the foster care system. According to the National Foster Youth Institute, “60% of all child sex trafficking victims have histories in the child welfare system? Children without families to make them feel loved and cared for are particularly vulnerable to exploitation by sex traffickers. Foster children in large cities like New York and Los