ROMULUS, Mich. (WXYZ) - “I had just turned 13,” recalls Devaun Chandler. That’s when the Romulus woman’s life went from bad to worse.
Her Kentucky family thought sending her to Michigan to live with her brother-in-law would provide safety. Instead, it provided years of abuse and heartache.
“He started physically abusing me and from there, sexually assaulting me," she said. "I had spent a year being beaten and raped."
What happened on her 14th birthday, was downright cruel.
“He came to me and said he was going to have a party in my honor. And that was when the trafficking began,” she added. “The party in my honor was him forcing me to be with his friends, every weekend.”
It was happening in Wayne, and Chandler was used for sex right out of her family member's home.
“I lived right in the center of town,” she said.
She also added she had broken ribs, a broken nose and would cover the bruises at school. That was, until a friend spoke up and saved her.
Her story is like so many other young girls in the billion dollar trafficking trade. She described what its like for those girls, enslaved in a home, listening to sounds no child should have to hear.
“You could hear it from upstairs, it was the most horrible sounds. I learned to play the role. I learned how to act so I wouldn't get hurt. It was all about survival,” Chandler said. “You pretty much shut down. I held onto my faith. I would pray, and I knew god would rescue me.
“I am rescued. I am free, but mentally, it's still a nightmare I live,” she said.