Dee felt she never had a family. Her mother died young. Her father, in grief over the death of his own mother, tried to kill them both.
His drinking buddies sexually abused her and she grew up in foster homes where she endured similar trauma.
When no one at the group home believed she was raped, she ran away to New Orleans.
“This is why a lot of victims don’t tell what happened to them – because they think no one is going to believe them,” Dee said. “The worst thing you can do is tell this stuff and then have somebody believe it’s not true. It’s devastating.”
In New Orleans Dee found a job and was trying to “do things the right way” when one night a man and woman asked her to play pool. Before long, she was groggy and felt herself being put into their car.
They took her to a trailer “in the middle of nowhere” and promised to take care of her.
Today a more common practice is to addict the girls to drugs.
They “obligated” her, buying her clothes and feeding her until she felt in their debt.
Then they took her to work in a brothel in Morgan City, La.
She tried to escape but was caught and beaten. She finally prevailed upon a customer to help her get out. She was 18.
Once away from the brothel, she found the only way she could survive on the outside was to prostitute herself. She “dated a mob guy” and tended bar.
A year later she married a man 14 years older than herself.
One day in the laundromat a single mom with three kids showed Dee pictures of herself before and after she became a Christian.
Dee saw a change so dramatic that she agreed to go with the woman to church.
Although she “felt my sin all over me” she climbed into the church van on Sunday and arrived at a new life when she was saved and baptized that very day.
“I automatically felt something different,” she said. “I was a different person.”
She’s telling her story after years of silence because she wants Christians to be aware of the daily tragedies in human trafficking that surround them.
The organization Stop Human Trafficking reports a grandmother selling her five-year-old grandson for his organs.
A Sept. 1 story in the Charlotte Observer tells of a woman accused of keeping three children for slave labor at her house.
“This book will also teach parents what to watch out for when other parents try to befriend your child through their child,” Dee said.
Play dates “with the children” can become opportunities for a pedophile.
It first happened to Dee when she was nine. “You just feel like you’ve done something wrong,” she said of a child victim. “Somehow you feel like it’s your fault.”
Married to her second husband for 10 years and the mother of three, a courageous Dee works with abuse groups in the Gastonia area and will speak anywhere to raise awareness and response to trafficking.
She encourages persons who want to win others to Christ, to “find a life with a lot of manure in it because it is fertile soil for a seed to grow.”
She was a prostitute, and alcoholic and would ingest “any pill someone put in front of me” when a stranger approached her with pictures of her own life before and after salvation.
“The gift she shared with me was simple,” Dee said. “It didn’t take her long and it sure changed my life…and other lives because I’ve led others to the Lord. It had a domino effect.”
“If you feel led to talk to someone on the street, someone who is by themselves, pray,” Dee said. “If you want eyes to see people like this, pray for God to open your eyes. It is His work.”
Contact Dee at (980) 329-6618.