sex trafficking in the United States

Sex Trafficking in Baltimore

From December 6th-8th, our team was in Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. to film a portion of the IN PLAIN SIGHT documentary on sex trafficking in the United States. Thanks to our friends at Abolition International, we were able to connect with The Samaritan Women – a residential program for survivors of sex trafficking.


Amanda Rodriguez – Prosecutor, Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s OfficeSex Trafficking in Baltimore
Amanda handles every sex trafficking case in Baltimore County, Maryland. Currently, she has 30 cases open on our her desk with over 50 victims involved. We learned that it can take 6-12 months for a case to go to trial against a trafficker/pimp. Meanwhile, the victims are returned to their home, foster home, or on their own depending on their age or situation. Amanda passionately called for more aftercare homes to be opened in the county. Her commitment to the eradication of this issue was inspiring, and we know you’ll love her in the film.

Lucy Strausbaugh – Educator, Notre Dame Preparatory School
Lucy is an educator at Notre Dame – teaching classes on human trafficking and religion – as well as a volunteer at The Samaritan Women. We stopped by Notre Dame in order to shoot b-roll of Lucy in her classroom, and the school was incredibly welcoming. We planned to conduct a full interview on Sunday at The Samaritan Women residence, but snow and ice preventing Lucy from making it.

sex trafficking in BaltimoreJeanne Allert – Founder, The Samaritan Women
Founded in 2007, The Samaritan Women is a Christian nonprofit organization focused on operating a transitional residence program for women recovering from trauma and trafficking that emphasizes life-rebuilding and reconciliation, offering a vocational program in culinary arts with an innovative “from seed to table” curriculum, managing a large urban farm that grows produce to support our vocational and therapeutic program, and leading a state-wide social justice initiative against human trafficking. Jeanne opened our eyes to how sex trafficking is uniquely playing out in Baltimore County, and she was an incredible host over the course of three days. Without her, we could have never captured the compelling stories that will ultimate end up in the film.


Heather – Survivor of Sex Trafficking
We had the privilege of interviewing Heather as she told her story of being coerced into dancing on The Block (a single street in Baltimore with numerous strip clubs side by side). It was amazing to hear how her story intersected with Jeanne Alert (Founder of The Samaritan Women) on a hot summer day and ultimately inspired Jeanne to start the residential program. Since that day, Heather broke away from her pimp, and she’s enjoying sobriety. Heather’s boyfriend joined the interview as well to share how their two-year relationship has been such a positive experience for both of them.

sex trafficking in BaltimoreWilkens Avenue
On Saturday evening, we were accompanied by a couple of people from The Samaritan Women (TSW) as we drove to a nearby area known for prostitution. Not only did we have the opportunity to interview a john (customer) on camera, but we had the privilege to interview two ladies who were working that night. To read the amazing story about meeting April, sold for sex by her mother at age 8, CLICK HERE.

Washington, DC
Late on Saturday night, we drove down to DC so that Heather could show us where she was taken by her pimp to work the streets near the Capitol building. The streets were buzzing well past midnight.


sex trafficking in BaltimoreButton and Rocky – Survivors of Sex Trafficking
After picking up April to take her to rehab, we spent time with Button and Rocky at The Samaritan Women’s residence. They were very gracious to share their unique stories that led to being trafficked by a pimp. All of the women at TSW come from different parts of the United States in order to leave their former life, distance themselves from their pimp(s), and start the process of healing. One of the unique gifts of TSW is a desire to help the women explore their interests and skills since most of them missed out on that season of life. While Button is enjoying the process of writing her story, Rocky has found her passion in baking. In fact, Rocky’s Cheesecakes launched this month, and her business is taking off.


We feel so privileged to get to know passionate leaders and survivors of sex trafficking. We look forward to shooting in Sacramento, Little Rock, Houston, and Dallas in early 2014. We are still in the process of funding the IN PLAIN SIGHT campaign (film, album, book). To date, we’ve raised $44,000, and we’re still in need of $31,000 (or more) to fully fund the project. There are two ways to make a tax-deductible donation:

1. Give by check to:
Awaken Media
233 16th Place #F
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

2. Give via credit card or PayPal.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact David Trotter (Co-Executive Producer) at 949.335.2925 or

Post a comment