Thousands of motorists make their way up and down Route 9, the Mass Pike and Interstate 290 everyday, passing by countless hotels and motels, probably without giving a thought to them.

To Audra Doody, many of those hotels and motels served as cages where she stayed days at a time, for as long as business was good. A human trafficking survivor, she was drugged and out of it most of the time, dropped off at one hotel or another, where strangers climbed atop her, finished and sent off to the next trick. Her pimp made the money, Doody took the drugs and the cycle continued.

These hotels and motels, often unaware and untrained to recognize what is going on, are where much of the action lies when it comes to sexual trafficking – far and away the most common form of human trafficking. The “boss” checks in, the girl gets a room and there begins the steady parade of strangers looking for nothing more than to get off and take off. So long as business is good — and the sex trade has become a lucrative business for the criminally enterprising — the woman might stay one night, two nights, maybe a week. Then it’s off to the next joint, the next stream of men.

Police and other law enforcement agencies have seen countless lives forever changed by the most common form of human trafficking: sex trafficking. The battle they fight is not an easy one, and it is made harder by the use of hotels and motels as stopovers for sexual dalliances.

Nationally, the numbers are alarming, although some experts caution that there are no hard and fast statistics. According to polarisproject.org, from December 2007 to February 2015, there were 1,434 documented cases of human trafficking in hotels and motels, with 1,867 victims and survivors identified.

YOU’RE MINE NOW

Doody was one of the many; a victim often referred to in numbers before she decided to try to become a voice for those who remain trapped.

“I had a messed up childhood,” Doody said, noting she was abused by a family member when she was only 8. “When I was 17, I was working for a company. My boss asked me if I’d like to make some extra money. It was a woman, actually. I worked at a large retail store chain. She said I was going to hang out with guys. I didn’t really understand what I was doing.”

Doody said she agreed, and that same night a man she had never met picked her up at her house and took her somewhere in Boston.

Continue reading the rest here Checked in, pimped out — Worcester Magazine, 02/23/2017