From exploitation to empowerment: Lyn’s journey to freedom

March 2, 2021

Instead of her high school years being full of good friends and dreaming of the future, Lyn* was trafficked for sex.

“My life was miserable,” she remembers.

Lyn was able to escape her exploiters and found 10ThousandWindows with the help of a local aftercare shelter. With the help of her counselor and social worker, Lyn began to recover.

Confronting barriers to empowerment

One of the difficulties before her was that Lyn hadn’t finished high school. Because of the trauma she experienced, she dropped out of school early and didn’t graduate with her peers. But she knew this was important for her to live a safe, free, and hopeful life. “I believed that getting my high school degree would help me have a better life,” she says.

“I believed that getting my high school degree would help me have a better life.”

Working with her counselor and tutor, Lyn prepared to take her high school equivalency exam. And, after months of course work and preparation, Lyn was thrilled when she passed.

“I felt really happy, like my hard work paid off,” she remembers. “When I heard the results, I immediately thought of my tutors and teacher. They were part of my success.”

“When I heard the results [of the high school exam], I immediately thought of my tutors and teacher. They were part of my success.”

A good job for lasting freedom

With high school under her belt, Lyn next worked with her career counselor to find a good job. Her counselor urged her to stretch beyond her comfort zone and to apply for positions she dreamed of having but wasn’t confident she could get.

Lyn was surprised and thrilled when a Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) company in the Philippines offered her a data entry position.

“Completing high school is like a key to finding a better job,” she says. “It opens doors to better opportunities. I feel proud working in my job. I feel proud working at a local BPO*. I feel like I have moved one step closer to my dream.”

When the pandemic hit and the Philippines economy went into a downturn, Lyn was able to sustain good employment in the business process outsourcing sector because of her education and work experience.

*To protect the safety and dignity of the survivors we serve, all names and identifying details, and photos are changed. 

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