Jillian Mourning had rushed to our interview from her day job. She apologized for not wearing any makeup, but honestly she looked better than me with full-face makeup on one of my best days.
Mourning is a survivor of sex trafficking, the crime of sexually exploiting people for profit. When she was 19, she signed with a modeling agent and traveled with him to Ariz. for a gig. In the middle of the night, he and three other men came into her hotel room. They raped her while filming and photographing the entire crime. Her agent sold the video to foreign websites for profit. That was the first of many times this would happen to her.
Mourning tells the story very matter-of-factly, probably because she has told it so many times before to her family, friends, and her former therapist since her abuse ended in Oct. 2007. But as a first time listener, her story hits me in the gut. The idea of someone trying to destroy such a beautiful person — inside and out — is horrifying.
Read her story in my latest for Creative Loafing and see how Mourning eventually triumphed over her traumatic experience. Be sure to learn more about her new non-profit L.O.V.E. too, which raises awareness about sex trafficking and connects with advocacy groups that work to end this human atrocity in the U.S. and around the world.