I was a sex trafficking victim. Instead of arresting me, Officer Skeeter saved my life.

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Vancouver, WA– Scrolling through my Facebook feed a few weeks ago, I stopped on a picture that a friend of mine posted.  Her name is Missy Skeeter and I used to work with her when I was still a cop.  The picture she posted was a short blip of text messages.

The first one read:

“Hey thank you again for saving me two years ago today.”

Officer Skeeter responded:

“This makes my heart happy.  You are so welcome.  I’m so glad you’re doing well.”

The girl replied:

“It’s thanks to you that I’m alive and doing well.  Because you cared enough and believed in me.”

Officers don’t get these kinds of messages enough.  I had to know more.  So, I called Officer Skeeter who gave me some background on her dealings with the young lady that sent it to her.

For privacy, I’ll call the now-twenty-eight-year-old girl Sarah.  Officer Skeeter told me that she had first met Sarah two years ago, shoved behind a freezer in a convenient store.  To put it nicely, Sarah was a little disheveled.

To put it accurately, Sarah had a broken nose, broken orbital bone, a broken rib, and bruises everywhere.

Sarah was also high on methamphetamine.  It was December in the Pacific Northwest, which meant it was literally freezing outside and raining.  Sarah weighed less than 100 pounds and was wearing only a t-shirt.

Officer Skeeter did her job:  She took an initial statement from Sarah, got her medical attention, asked for witness statements.

And then her real work began.

Officer Skeeter took the time to build a rapport with Sarah, getting much more information out of her than people are normally willing to give to the police.  Sarah didn’t want to ride in an ambulance, so Officer Skeeter drove her to the local hospital. 

When asked if she was hungry, Sarah enthusiastically said yes, so Officer Skeeter opened up her own lunch box and gave Sarah the entire contents of it.  She said Sarah “scarfed down all the food,” she was so hungry.

I was a sex trafficking victim.  Instead of arresting me, Officer Skeeter saved my life.

During the time with Sarah, Officer Skeeter learned that she was a sex trafficking victim who was ill-treated by the men who “owned” her.  She was forced to meet up with guys and give them massages as well as perform sexual acts with them. 

If Sarah every told the men that she wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t up to sexual activity, the men beat her to the point where she had broken bones.  This incident was the third time Sarah’s nose had been broken by the same men. 

What set them off on this night two years ago?  Sarah was instructed to give a “client” a massage, with a “happy ending.”  The client got spooked when he heard men arguing in the living room and asked Sarah to investigate what was going on while he went to car to get money to pay her. 

The client left and didn’t return with her money.  Sarah told the men that she didn’t get paid for the service, and so they beat her to a pulp and left her for dead.

After spending three hours with Sarah, Officer Skeeter was able to get her settled in a hotel and referred to an advocate. 

Sarah originally said she wouldn’t work with the advocate or the YWCA (an organization that takes in and supports battered and abused women) because she was afraid she would run into the men, so Officer Skeeter got her in contact with a YWCA from a nearby county. 

Officer Skeeter also contacted Sarah’s parents in New York, who had no idea what had become of their estranged daughter. 

There were three men apprehended in connection to Sarah’s abuse.  Sarah called Officer Skeeter and asked her if she would go with her to her YWCA interview, as she was petrified and wasn’t sure she could go through with it.

I was a sex trafficking victim.  Instead of arresting me, Officer Skeeter saved my life.

It’s not uncommon for sex trafficking victims, like domestic violence victims, to recant their statements and decide they don’t want to cooperate with an investigation.  Officer Skeeter recognized Sarah’s bravery in knowing her own limitations and reaching out for assistance to make sure the men were held accountable for their actions. 

Her patrol sergeant told her she did not need to attend, but Officer Skeeter was determined to see Sarah get justice and get her life in order.  So, she went to be there for Sarah.

Between the work of Officer Skeeter and a Human Sex Trafficking Detective with the Portland Police Bureau, all three men received prison sentences.  As common with this type of case, the sentences were not nearly long enough.  But regardless, they were put into prison and Sarah was free. 

During trial, Sarah was asked why she resorted to using methamphetamine. 

Sarah’s response was:

“You try doing the things they made me do without being on drugs.” 

Enough said.

I was a sex trafficking victim.  Instead of arresting me, Officer Skeeter saved my life.

Now two years later, Sarah is still clean and sober.  She has held a job for several months.  She lives on her own.  She has contact with her parents.  And she has not forgotten everything that Officer Skeeter has done for her.

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

It would have been easy to walk away from Sarah.  To write the report, drop her off at the hospital, and call it a day.  But, contrary to what the media would have us believe, there are so many officers out there on patrol who truly and genuinely care about the people they come in contact with. 

They don’t want to just be report writers.  They want to get to know the people they deal with, their situations, their lives.  And they want to help them.

Talking to Officer Skeeter about this incident, I could tell how happy she was that Sarah was doing so well.  It’s how a parent feels when their children make good decisions, or how a big brother feels when he teaches his younger sibling how to throw a punch.  So much pride; so much joy.

Two years ago, Sarah was left in a store to die.  Workers at the convenient store did their part in saving her life by calling 911.  Officer Skeeter did her part in keeping her physically alive by giving Sarah food and bringing her to the hospital to get her medical help. 

Then she brought the rest of Sarah back to life by believing in her.  By sticking with her.  By supporting her.  Caring about her.  By using all available resources (and then some) to help Sarah get her life back together.

Sarah said it best herself:  Because of Officer Skeeter, Sarah isn’t just alive today.  She is alive and well.  Sarah’s life was truly saved.

Operation Throat Punch Is the Greatest Trolling of Sex Traffickers by Combat Veterans Ever

Sex traffickers aren’t good people. Neither are “John’s.” And that’s what makes “Operation Throat Punch” so damn awesome.

These criminals have just met their match – battle hardened United States combat veterans teamed up with law enforcement across America.

“Operation Throat Punch” is being implemented by DeliverFund, a non-profit organization that crushes evil and destroys human trafficking rings by training, equipping and advising law enforcement. It’s made up of the most badass warriors in America … Navy SEALS, Delta Force veterans, members of the CIA, FBI, DOJ and NSA analysts.

Here’s what they’re doing.

Knowing that sex traffickers look for ads of young escorts to take, DeliverFund built out hundreds of ads in dozens of cities across America … on the websites that these sex traffickers are using to recruit and pimp young girls.

The ads look like they’re for a young lady.  But when the trafficker clicks to look at more pictures, this video instead takes over their screen.

Once they hit the video, DeliverFund has them.  And not only are they working with law enforcement to destroy evil … but they’re trolling the people who clicked the ads.

Facebook. Instagram. Their messenger apps. Websites that they visit. Games they play on line. They all get filled with ads from DeliverFund letting them know that they’re being tracked … and that the group is onto them.

Operation Throat Punch

Before you start complaining that it’s not just sex traffickers that look at these ads – it’s also “John’s” – here’s what I’d say:

I don’t care.

I don’t take pity on those who are enabling sex traffickers to drug and pimp out girls by providing them a lucrative market. Perhaps now they’ll think twice about it.

Please help us spread the word about this incredible cause.  This epic campaign is something EVERYONE needs to see.  Together we can destroy evil … and troll sex traffickers.

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