Local Victim of Sex Trafficking Holds Zoom Meeting With Loyola Students


Selah Freedom

Selah Freedom works to help individuals escape human trafficking. Recently, Ramblers had an opportunity to meet one of its members and a client.

Stephanie Smith, Writer

“There was no identity, there was no self worth and there was no self love,” said Kimberly Weller, describing her seventh grade self after being molested for the second time in her life.

Kimberly Weller has faced several instances of adversity in her life, but that has not diminished her passion to educate others on how to avoid what she had to go through. On January 27, Loyola Academy students were fortunate enough to speak with Weller, joined by representatives from Selah Freedom, a nonprofit anti-human trafficking organization.

Weller began the meeting by sharing her story with Loyola students, starting with her childhood. Weller had been molested twice as she was in seventh grade, which had caused her to rely on drugs. Her problem was that she simply did not have the money to pay for them. Weller shared that she had nowhere to live, and had to move into what she called a “sugar daddy situation.” This is where the trafficking first started.

Weller had immediately felt very uncomfortable in this situation, when the trafficker began to force her into things. She had attempted to leave the trafficker three to four times, but had moved back in because she was terrified of living on the streets.

Fast forward a year, Weller had started working in a brothel, and became hooked on hard core drugs. She was at the lowest point of her life. She experienced the unimaginable. She was then told by the owner of the brothel that “She was unfit, and no man would ever want her.” This decision had forced her to move onto the next trafficker. After dealing with numerous different traffickers, she encountered the Selah Freedom Organization.

On January 15, 2016, Weller had stepped foot into the Assessment House at Selah Freedom. She shared her thoughts from that day, “I was ready to pursue any education goals I could possibly pursue.”

Her advisors at Selah Freedom had allowed her to realize her true passion: art. Selah provided Weller with grants to attend school, and she has since worked as an accomplished nail technician for the past four years. She resides in her own house, has her own vehicle, and voted for the first time in her life this past election.

Emily, a Selah Freedom representative who has worked closely with Weller over the years, shared her thoughts, “I can’t help but smile every time I hear your story.”

This same feeling was shared with Loyola students as you could see smiles emerging from the zoom boxes.

When asked what advice would you give to your younger self, Weller responded, “Be true to yourself.”

Weller had made a point to spread this message with all of the students on the call. It was obvious to all students that Weller now knows what hard work and determination looks like.

Her story is a true inspiration, and even more inspiring that she is brave enough to share it with others, while educating young women on the topic as well.