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Local human trafficking survivor reflects on her healing journey with help from Bridgeport nonprofit

On National Human Trafficking Awareness Day Wednesday, a local survivor opened up about her painful ordeal and explained how a Bridgeport nonprofit is helping her rebuild her life.

News 12 Staff

Jan 11, 2023, 5:29 PM

Updated 526 days ago

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On National Human Trafficking Awareness Day Wednesday, a local survivor opened up about her painful ordeal and explained how a Bridgeport nonprofit is helping her rebuild her life.
Iris Jones, 27, is a sex trafficking survivor who says her path to recovery began with one single bold step in the city of Bridgeport.
The decision led her to a local nonprofit called Partnership to End Human Trafficking, or PEHT, that sells hand-crafted survivor-made products at Arcade Mall.
It opened the door to a new life for Jones. She was now free from the cycle of sexual servitude, a cycle she says began with grooming at the age of 6.
"I've definitely been through a lot," said Jones.
Executive Director Jamie Manirakiza and Clinical Program Manager Lera Homer say the PEHT SHOP helps to support the organization's safe house.
"The things that folks endure might be physical violence, beating, rape, forms of torture, forms of torture that lead to coercive control," said Manirakiza.
"My idea of own self-worth was really awful," said Jones.
Manirakiza says PEHT, by providing housing, job training and life skills, is giving survivors like Iris a step up, and a a path forward free from exploitation.
"I'm definitely grateful and it definitely -- it really has been life-changing," Jones said.
For more information on Partnership to End Human Trafficking, click here.


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