Mónica’s* father was a taxi driver in the city.
He worked hard every day to put food on their little table. Usually, it was just rice, beans, and vegetables, but sometimes they could afford to buy chicken for arroz con pollo. It had been just the two of them for the past seven years since Mónica’s mama passed away from cancer.
Raúl lived in the barrio, and they met through mutual friends. He was three years older, and with her father always on the road, Mónica gravitated toward a boyfriend.
He was a little controlling, but somehow that made her feel loved and cared for.
After a few months, things with Raúl just didn’t go as Mónica intended.
“Hey, mi reina,” he’d say. “Just do me a favor? I have a friend who wants to meet you.” But there was a steely look in his eye, and she knew it wasn’t optional.
He’d post pictures of her on Facebook. He’d send the more personal ones directly to anyone who needed a little extra push to pick a time and date.
She met his “friends” at his apartment. Raúl always negotiated a “good price” for time with “his girl.”
That was when she realized that Raúl was also selling drugs. She had missed this red flag somehow early on. His “friends” would pay her a visit, and then the guys would get high together. She’d join them, desperate to escape this reality she found herself in.
And so the months passed by, and Mónica’s eighteenth birthday arrived.
She had never felt more alone in her life.
But you sent national Search + Rescue operatives to investigate these posts on Facebook. They assisted local police in creating a strong, actionable case.
One evening, Mónica was summoned by Raúl to meet yet another friend. Cash was handed over, but this time, the sound of sirens pierced the air.
Police busted in through the front door, and Monica panicked.
Before she could even run, a woman in plain clothes entered with police and immediately rushed to Mónica to calm her and tell her they had come to help her. Now she was free!
Tears of relief poured down her face as she walked by Raúl, his face contorted in rage as they handcuffed him. His days of selling her were over.
Celebrate with us because Mónica is safe now. She’s back with her father, and she will begin her healing road because you made her freedom possible.
*Name, image, and some details representational