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The 700 Club

Trafficked Woman Finds Freedom After Suicide Attempt

Michelle Wilson - 700 Club Producer
Matt Vilkas - 700 Club Producer

Leslie King recalled, “The childhood memories, the pain, the rapes, the name calling.”

Leslie King’s childhood was filled with abuse, rejection, and violence. At home, her dad was often drunk and abused her mom. At school, she was bullied, sometimes beaten up, because of her mixed ethnicity of Native American, white, black, and Puerto Rican.

“I seen the world as a very dark place, a very mean place, a place that wasn't for me and didn't like me,” said Leslie.

At 8-years-old, Leslie was molested by an older cousin. It went on for several months.

Leslie explained, “I nicknamed my cousin ‘The Boogie Man.’ He would put his hand over my mouth and he told me if I said anything, my father would kill my mother.”

Leslie kept silent as her mother continued to be beaten. She prayed to God to stop the abuse of both of them, but when those prayers weren’t answered, she grew angry, asking why He allowed such pain.

Leslie said, “If there was a God, and You loved the little children, then You must didn't love me, because You made me different.”

As a 15-year-old, looking for someone to protect her and show her affection, Leslie started dating an older man. One night, he took her to a friend’s house. After having a few drinks, she passed out.

“When I came to, his friend was on top of me having sex with me any way he wanted to,” said Leslie. “I’m looking around for this man that I love who said no one’s going to hurt me. I’m looking right at him. He looked like the devil himself.”
    
Afterwards, he kidnapped her and forced her into sex trafficking.

Leslie explained, “I was told, ‘If you run, if you tell the police, I’m going to kill your mother, your sister and brother, and then I’m going to kill you.’”

Leslie was prostituted throughout the U.S. She took downers to try to numb the pain of constantly being violated and beaten. Ten years later, her pimp was arrested, but she continued to work the streets with a warped sense of reality.

“Prostitution became power and control. These men are going to give me what I want, because they were gonna pay me,” said Leslie.

But she wasn’t in control. Over the next ten years, she began taking harder drugs, eventually becoming addicted to crack cocaine.

With tears running down her face, Leslie said, “I just wanted the pain to stop. The older I got, the more powerful the pain became.”

On July 4th, 2000, she tried to end it all by taking a bunch of pills with alcohol.

“But as I’m dying, I screamed, ‘If there’s a God in heaven, if You’re real, help me, man.’ But I felt something hug me so tight, it’s the hug I never got as a child. I felt that. I felt all of that,” explained Leslie.

It was then, Leslie realized God was real and He cared.  

The next day, she enrolled in a 30-day detox center and was able to stop using drugs. Afterwards, she went to “Rose Haven,” a Christian women’s shelter, where she spent the next year digging into scripture.

Leslie recalled, “I learned to love me. I worked diligently inside out. I found out who I was. I found out my purpose.”

Her purpose was to take care of others, so she started working in home health care, but she still didn’t feel at peace.

Leslie said, “I was so used to holding onto hate and anger. See it, all my life, I've been comfortable being uncomfortable.”

Then, one of her clients, a woman who had Alzheimer’s and dementia, said one sentence that changed everything.

Leslie explained, “She never spoke. And then one day, out of nowhere, she grabbed my wrist and she looked at me and she said, ‘You have to pray for them.’ And she dropped her head. But I knew exactly what she meant. I knew exactly what she meant! I had to forgive everybody in order to release me.”

It was at that moment, Leslie understood that she also needed God’s forgiveness.

“And that's when I really called on the Lord like, ‘Lord, I know I'm wrong. I know I'm dead wrong, but I need to let go,’” said Leslie.

Leslie has since helped many other women gain their freedom. In 2005, she launched a program for sexually exploited women called “Sacred Beginnings.”

“God allowed me to go through everything I went through to understand the battle and the fight in order to go back, go back into that darkness and assist others in getting out,” said Leslie.

Leslie is now married to a godly man and is surrounded by many others who truly love her.

Leslie said, “When I look in the mirror, I see a powerful woman of God, I see a warrior, I see a fighter, I see me, and I know who I am.”

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