Julia's Story

I was a DREAMer. But my dream turned into a nightmare.

I moved to the United States from Latin America and was an undocumented citizen. My father was incarcerated, but before that he abused me physically. My mother struggled with addiction and lost custody of me. I lived with my grandmother, but she was very harsh and always punished me. Eventually I was placed in foster care.

I was lonely and looking for attention, and I ended up getting into some bad relationships. I had an older boyfriend that was abusive, and he started to traffic me into the sex trade. I dropped out of school in 10th grade even though I was getting good grades. I just couldn’t keep up with everything.

I started off doing cocaine then I got into harder drugs. I didn’t really want to be involved in sex work, but I couldn’t find any other jobs and I didn’t want to go back to school. I just felt helpless. Helpless and hopeless. Then when I was 17, I found my solution. I allowed drugs to fill the void.

I overdosed.

I committed suicide.