Trafficking Survivor Now Helps Others

My heart began to beat again December 22, 2017. Strange as I didn’t realize it had stopped. It may sound funny, but a simple text message had the ability to get my heart pumping, my feet jumping my voice shouting. “Merry Christmas! Just hung up with prisoner review board! It’s granted and will be announced today!” I know, you have no idea what this is all about. {smile} I’ll enlighten you….


This blog post is provided by Marian Hatcher of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Her personal journey includes escaping sex trafficking. Now a national expert on combating trafficking with various law enforcement groups including the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Marian is recognized for her tireless efforts in fighting abuse against women in the form of trafficking, prostitution and domestic violence. She was recently awarded the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award.


Marian Hatcher - Cook County Sheriff's Office

In one text message a weight was lifted; justice was served. At 56 years and 4 months old, the Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner granted this grateful recovering addict, formerly incarcerated, survivor of prostitution, Executive Clemency.

You see, my middle class upbringing in the Western Suburbs, Sandburg Village, and Lincoln Park West; a degree in finance from Loyola University; and 17 years in Corporate America didn’t exempt me from domestic violence, a crack habit, and eventually prostitution.

And not surprisingly, prostitution resulted in trafficking. In 2002, the consequences of my behavior resulted in an arrest that would replace “Accounting Manager” as the title associated with my name. The resume would now read “Felon.”

In 2004, God sent angels with handcuffs to set me on a sure and steady road to redemption. A surreal and miraculous road. One which redefined me in every way imaginable. Once I had paid my debt to society, I volunteered for those same angels with handcuffs. And they eventually gave me a permanent opportunity to help others. Today I am Senior Project Manager/Human Trafficking Coordinator for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

My family has healed. They can hold their heads up high and be proud of my accomplishments. You see, with God there is nothing you can’t do or undo. With humility, hard work, and a life dedicated to the service of others, your heart will beat again.

Thank you to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Governor Rauner, Sheriff Dart, Attorney Kelly Burden-Lindstrom, my family, friends, supporters, and the sisterhood in solidarity.


To learn more about The Salvation Army’s efforts to end trafficking in our community – including collaboration with the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force and other law enforcement agencies – visit salarmychicago.org/stopit.


 

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