Sara talks about how her adopted mom forced her into prostitution at 15 in Vila Mimosa, Rio de Janeiro’s red light district.
“She made me and her daughter work and send her the money we made.”
Anyone who does commercial sex work as a minor (whether they’re forced, like Sara, or seek it out, like Ruby) is considered a victim of sexual exploitation or sex trafficking. Minors, by definition, can’t consent to sex work, in the US or in Brazil.
But Sara complicates the stereotype of a sex trafficking victim, because despite what she went through, she currently supports herself and her son by doing sex work. (Patricia also continued to do sex work after she was trafficked in Portugal.)
While Sara was a victim of sex trafficking — first in the hands of her adoptive mother, then again while she was working in Spain — she currently is a sex worker, who came back to work in the same place she was trafficked seven years earlier: Vila Mimosa, Rio de Janeiro’s red light district. Sex work is how she supports herself and her son, and she isn’t asking to be “rescued” from her primary source of income.
Watch more of Sara’s story here:
Watch Patricia’s story about being sex trafficked in Portugal: