For some people, life is typical and “normal.” They are raised in a two-parent home and have experiences that all involve being surrounded by unconditional love. Growing up in those surroundings brings about feelings of confidence and security within a child. For some, they never know this type of lifestyle, as trauma and pain are filtered into their daily routine. The horrors endured by abused children are more than many can even bear to hear. What happens when an innocent child is ripped from life with their parents, into a world of endless pain and suffering? Even if it was not an ideal childhood, life would never be as rough as when they are unknowingly forced into a life of trafficking. This happened to a woman named Sariah Lanae Hastings. The following events in this article depict her real-life journey through the fight for her life, to redemption and healing.
Sariah was only 11 years old when she first became aware of what human trafficking was. Sariah explained that her “parents were working all the time, so at 11 years old I got bored, went to look for things to do.” It was at this time in her life that she caught her first glimpse into the world of human trafficking. At the age of only 18 years old she faced the terror of becoming an official victim of being sold for the sole purpose of being owned by a man. The intensity of her day-to-day life was unimaginable, as she experienced the dictatorship of who she was allowed to talk to and where she could go. Every single aspect of her life was not her own, and there seemed to be all hope lost and no way out. From hotels to houses, Sariah was inundated with a life that fate sealed, and she grew to believe that she never again would be her own person, as her “daddy,” was her voice. The man who claimed her as his “girl” would become the person she could depend on for nothing but betrayal and heartbreak.
The in-depth description of events that unfolded are revealed in the book No More Games. Reading through the raw emotional occurrences, one will be sure to come to a more vast understanding of how and why one cannot just leave a life of trafficking. This is modern-day slavery, and it is an attack on the purity and innocence of humanity. Young children, adult women, and even boys are being subjected to an agonizing existence through the vicious agenda of others. The lifestyle also is not always what the average citizen thinks either. According to Sariah for example, “the kids who are trafficked get anything they want.” This is an alarming revelation to consider and dives us into a deeper knowledge of the grooming process. Life of sexual and physical abuse becomes almost normalized to a child because they are told to obey and whatever they want will be handed to them.
Children and even adults are in these situations are often “groomed” for trafficking. They wouldn’t are not going to flock to someone who at first come across as vicious and mean.These vultures who tear our loved ones away for a life of perversion are vindictive and manipulative individuals. They are experts at luring their victims through ensuring they are trustworthy, making promises of material desires, and then once they are in their grasp, they profit from them.
Many would concur that human trafficking needs to be fought back against and abolished from society. Many question how that can even be done, due to the secretive darkness that surrounds all of those involved.
Sariah is sending out a message that may surprise many. However, at its core, is a logical and reasonable thought process to come closer to a solution. She suggests that we, “get to the root issue, there is a reason men become traffickers.” Sariah is flipping the narrative on this issue and thinking outside the box. Yes, victims need to be saved and protected from having to ever experiencing this trauma. Sariah is asking people to consider reaching the ones who are responsible for the destruction of lives as well. “To get someone out of human trafficking, you have to look at both sides.” A lot of women want to rescue but they are afraid to do the work that goes into it,” says Sariah. These statements and beliefs held by Sariah are turning the tables on how to confront this pure evil at its very foundation. How can we proceed with stopping something that is becoming more frequent by the day? “Emphasis on why these men come into this, this is how you break the cycle,” said Sariah. Taking into consideration these thoughts and extending our help toward efforts to alleviate the desire to enslave anyone, no matter the money that could be made, while maintaining healing and focus on the survivors, is according to Sariah, paramount to wiping the practice of human trafficking off the map.
The overall ambition showed by the brave person in Sariah Lanae Hastings, is illuminated in her current work at the House of Hope in New Hampshire. Here she helps to bring about a new life of purpose and healing for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Sariah has been through a real life nightmare for twenty years, but she tells her story with others’ wellbeing in mind. Her ultimate goal is to “go out and save people’s souls, through Jesus Christ, to know there is a better life.”
If you would like to learn more about Sariah’s story you can purchase a copy of her book, No More Games on Amazon. She also hosts a podcast on Spotify and other online platforms.