“I was born in Mexico. My name was Alajandra Martinez. My mother was a hooker and I don’t know who my father was. When I was about twelve one of my mothers friends as she used to called them raped me while she was sleeping. When I told her she slapped me across the face and told me to get out of her house. I lived on the streets for a few weeks until a woman who knew my mother and what she was took me in. She was kind and let me stay with her and her husband. One day he groped me while she was in the garden they kept. She walked in and caught him. They fought for hours. I was terrified. The next day after her husband left she handed me an envelope containing enough money for me to pay for a bus ticket to California. Once in California I had only about twenty dollars left, no place to go and no one who cared. I couldn’t rent a room because of my age, even though I looked older because I had developed early. After a couple of days I met a man near the bus station, I used to sleep in the bus station. He offered to take care of me. A nice place to live, new clothes and food. Little did I know then he was a pimp. By the time I was fourteen I was a full fledged prostitute. I was also pregnant. I was only about eight weeks along and I told my pimp one night when he stopped by my corner to pick up what ever money I had made so far. He started slapping me around and screaming at me, beat me pretty badly. Out of nowhere a man grabbed him by the jacket and threw him to the ground and beat the shit out of him. I begged the man to stop but he didn’t listen. I knew I would pay for this later, but the man told me to get in his car. I hesitated and he shouted; “get in the damn car now”! I jumped in his car he gave the pimp one last kick and got in the car with me. I thought he was a cop and I was going to jail but he didn’t take me to the police station, he took me to his condo. He cleaned my cuts and told me to take a shower. I was crying the whole time. He told me his name was Ben and he was not going to hurt me. I did as I was told. He handed me sweat pant and a polo shirt to put on after my shower. When I was showered and came out of the bathroom he had a cup of hot tea and a sandwich sitting on the kitchen table. Ben asked me my name I told him. “You are here illegally aren’t you”?
“Yes, but please don’t send me back”, I cried. I explained my life up to this point to him. He asked me how old I was, I told him the truth fourteen. He told me not to worry. I could stay with him for now and he would not turn me over to the authorities. I asked him if he was a cop, he said he was not. The next day he asked me what size I wore, clothes, underwear, shoes etc.. He told me to help myself to breakfast and he would be back later. When he did return he had packages for me that contained every thing from skirts, blouses, jeans, tee shirts, shoes sneakers everything I could ever dream of. I thanked him and he smiled and said; “No problem, you deserve a break”. Over the next few days we talked about how much schooling I had and what I would like to be when I grow up. I asked him how old he was he told me twenty four. “It’s funny I thought at the time that Ben was so old. I never expected what happened next”.