Crystal has lived the horror story of being sex trafficked, and now as a manager at the Goldsboro, N.C. coffee shop and café for Cry Freedom Missions (CFM), she is living the mission of CFM which is to reach, rescue, and restore.
Sex trafficking has become the fastest growing international crime network that the world has ever seen. This form of enslavement is so traumatic and dehumanizing that it seems unthinkable.
On May 21, 2021, Crystal was rescued out of sex trafficking and placed in the safe house operated by CFM where she found emergency services which included medical treatment, therapy, food, and a place to live and recover.
She remarked about the approach of CFM to rescuing and serving women.
“They told me everything there is paid for by Jesus,” she said.
Crystal recalled the warm, clean sheets she slept on as she recounted her first day at CFM. The health screening they provided revealed breast cancer, after receiving treatment, she was declared cancer free.
CFM saved her life. It is not hyperbole. Her physical, mental, and eternal life were restored.
“I found Jesus,” Crystal stated with gleeful gratitude.
Tweet This: Crystal was reached, rescued, and restored from human trafficking by pregnancy help
Crystal was reached because CFM visits prisons weekly and establishes trust with women there. In Crystal’s case, it was the only lifeline that came to mind when she escaped her captor.
In 2007 Crystal discovered her husband dead from an ATV accident. It was then she was prescribed pain pills.
“I became addicted to opiates,” she said. “I poured myself into a liquor bottle.”
Crystal’s addiction spiraled into illegal drugs and a gambling addiction. Out of desperation Crystal got involved in prostitution. While gambling at a casino, sex traffickers spotted her and offered her money.
“I chose prostitution in the beginning as a means to get drugs,” said. “In all reality, whenever men are positioning us to have sex with them, or you’re being forced or led to have sex to be able to get a drug to prevent you from being sick, at that point in your life, it’s not really a choice.”
Once Crystal accepted the financial assistance from the sex traffickers, she lost all control of her life. This would continue for years.
It’s a system that utilizes an underground website to distribute pornography and arrange for men to pay for sex with the women and children these human traffickers hold captive.
“There were doctors, lawyers, judges, people that you would not even imagine who are paying for sex,” said Crystal.
From 2014 until 2021 she had multiple arrests and during her incarceration she met and learned to trust Beverly Weeks and the team from CFM. Weeks is the CEO of Wayne Pregnancy Center, which is the organization under which CFM operates as a ministry.
After years of addiction, Crystal was bonded out of jail by a drug dealer in May 2021, then taken to a barn where she was raped by four men and held in a camper in an unknown location.
“There was a flicker of light,” she recalled. “I heard in my head, ‘just run, run, run!’ And I got up and I started running. The closer I got to the light, it was a front porch light and when I got to that front porch I just started beating on the door with both fists. I was franticly pleading, ‘please help me!’”
“Two elderly people came outside and that was who helped me call for help,” she said.
Crystal called Weeks, who came and picked her up and took her to the CFM safe house.
For the next 16 months Crystal would receive clothing, medical care, cancer treatments, trauma counseling, housing and all the other services offered to those CFM reaches, rescues, and restores.
In September 2022 she moved forward becoming an employee at CFM and took advantage of educational opportunities as well, earning a 3.0 GPA. At the end of 2023 she will receive her associate degree in business administration.
Her personal life has been restored as well. Reunited with her adult children, Crystal not only enjoys being part of their lives, but revels in being a grandmother.
“All of my relationships have been reconciled. I have beautiful grandchildren,” she beamed.
As coffee shop manager of the CFM Shoppe, Crystal is given the opportunity to mentor other women by training them in the coffee shop and café.
She personally can attest to the ways in which Jesus restores fully what has been lost and brings blessings beyond what she could have ever asked or imagined.
“I honestly am just so grateful that God gave me this opportunity to be in position to be in contact with Cry Freedom,” Crystal noted.
“God’s just used me to help a lot of people in the past two years,” she said. “That wouldn’t have been possible without the training, the trauma counseling, without the networking and support of the people around me.”
Jonathan Chavous is COO of Wayne Pregnancy Center. His advice to parents stems from wisdom gained over the years of defending and ministering to victims of human trafficking.
He said that anytime you go out with your children to any public venue or event to always keep them in sight.
“Don’t let them go to the bathroom by themselves. Go in and check the stalls before they go in,” Chavous said. “There have often times been reported cases where individuals were sitting in parks, park bathrooms and other places where the child would go, and they could be molested or taken from those places.”
“You always want to keep your children in your sight,” he added. “That includes the mall and other places you go shopping.”
Chavous further noted that 86% of individuals who have a neglect or abuse case in the foster care system are sexually exploited.
“Parental oversight and care is the number one combatant for children to being trafficked,” he said. “When we don’t have parental oversight, and there’s neglect or abuse cases, the vulnerability just rises exponentially.”
Less than 10% of individuals taken are abducted by someone they don’t know. That means traffickers are often grooming children in plain daylight.
Families need to be aware of who in schools, churches, neighborhoods has an unusual amount of attention they are giving to their children.
“I don’t care how long you’ve known somebody,” Chavous said. “Familial trafficking and trafficking by friends is at an all-time high.”
With this heightened danger, parents need to reassess whether it is wise to allow children to participate in overnight visits with friends.
Crystal’s childhood experience included molestation starting at age four by an older cousin who watched her at times, and this continued for about five years.
Social media, online gaming—all these access points to children require the diligence of parental oversight.
“They are grooming these young children and talk them into giving them their address and before long something happens,” Chavous cautioned.
Chavous said it is important to be involved as the parent to know who has influence and authority over your child and what they are teaching.
Chavous noted that when he checked the curriculum being offered by Planned Parenthood in the schools, “They used the exact same language as those who were grooming children online.”
“There is an active work to sexualize children at a very young age,” he said. “We’re seeing this across the board.”
Chrystal spoke about how to help those who have been taken or forced into trafficking.
“Be aware, awareness is the biggest thing,” she noted. “If you go to a motel—there was several times when I was addicted, I was placed in a motel room and men came in and out as they wished. Just be aware.”
“Always be looking for signs,” Crystal added. “Be looking for bruises. Be looking for anyone who seems like they are being manipulated or controlled. Anyone who seems like they’ve been through a traumatic experience.”
She is grateful for the Cry Freedom Missions ministry and its efforts to reach, rescue and restore.
“My entire life has been restored,” Crystal said.