shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love

LIMITED-TIME MATCH: Your loving gift will be matched to pursue justice and support for survivors.


Back to Stories

Betrayed and sold by her own mother

Sex Trafficking Dominican Republic Liana Side Profile

Betrayed and sold by her own mother

Liana was 14 years old the first time her mother sold her for sex.

Liana’s mother left when she was too young to remember, and her father was killed in a motorcycle accident when she was 8.

Sex Trafficking Dominican Republic Liana Side Profile

Orphaned and alone, she was taken in by her grandparents.

"In our home," they promised, "you will never suffer.”

Though her mother would visit occasionally, she would drink heavily and use drugs.

"I didn’t want to talk to her anymore”, Liana shared with us.

To protect Liana, her grandfather tried to keep her mother away, but eventually, Liana went to visit her mother.

Almost overnight, the house became a prison.

At 14, Liana was enslaved and sold for sex by her own mother.

Sex Trafficking Liana Dominican Republic

Every day—often multiple times a day – Liana was raped by men young and old.

Liana’s stepfather also helped with the lucrative sex business, hauling her to different men around the country.

If she refused, her mom threatened to kill her.

"I obeyed," Liana remembers. "I didn't want her to hurt me."

After nearly five months of constant abuse, Liana returned home and told her grandparents about what she had been through.

Her grandfather immediately contacted the police and, within weeks, officials arrested Liana’s mother and referred the case to IJM.

We took on Liana’s case and sent her to a safe house where she was provided with counselling and trauma-focused therapy.

Sex Trafficking Dominican Republic Liana Top Profile

Because of your support, Liana’s mother was convicted for sex trafficking and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Her stepfather was also arrested and convicted for his role in her exploitation.

Today, Liana is safe and continuing to heal.

Will you give today to ensure safety for girls like Liana?

You might also be interested in…

see more

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay connected to the work! Sign up to get updates straight to your inbox.

Media Contact

We're here to answer your questions. Please fill out the form below and someone from our team will follow up with you soon.

Make an Impact

Your skills, talents, and ideas are a force for change. From birthday parties to polar dips, your fundraising campaign can stop the violence.

Learn More

Thank you for signing up to learn more about starting a fundraiser. We will be in touch soon!

In the meantime, please take a look at our free guide: 25 Tips for the Novice Fundraiser.

Need Help?

Need more information?
We're here to help.
Contact us at