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Iowa Veteran Talks About Being Trafficked as a Teenager

Photo Courtesy of Amber Causey

Amber Causey is a distinguished Army veteran with a master's degree in criminal justice and she is a mother. She's competing for Ms. Veteran America 2017 in October and is hoping to go to law school. She's also a survivor of human trafficking. 

She says after her mom was incarcerated when she was 13, a lot about her life changed. She moved in with her dad, who was abusive, and ended up running away from home and dropping out of high school. 

"I had my first suicide attempt at 13. I couldn’t handle all the emotions that were weighing me down. I would leave and act like I was going to school and not go to school at all," she says. "When my father found out, he threatened me that he would physically discipline me. I had spent the first 13 years of my life being abused by my stepfather, so…" 

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, Causey talks with host Charity Nebbe about the circumstances by which she became a victim of human trafficking, and how she got away. She says after she ran away from home, the man who controlled her really seemed like a knight in shining armor at first. 

"I honestly believed that he really cared. I couldn’t remember an adult in my life telling me that they cared about me or that they loved me. When I lost my mother, I lost that. So, when he came offering that, I was completely open to it. I felt like he was savior and that he was going to take care of me. I didn’t realize how naive I was being, but I took him for his world. I didn’t have many other options."

Teresa Davidson of Chains Interrupted, which is working to raise awareness about human trafficking in Cedar Rapids, also joins the conversation. 

Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa