Woman who escaped human trafficking using her trauma to helping others heal #Woman #escaped #human #trafficking #trauma #helping #heal

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A local woman who escaped the terrors of human trafficking is using her past trauma to help others improve their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Benzii Diaz, 26, said she groomed into human trafficking by someone she knew in her hometown and was first molested at the age of eight. 

“The poor communities you see that this is where these things happen the most because people are willing to sacrifice for food, for clothing, for shelter,” Diaz said. 

By the time Diaz was 13, she said she was involved with 30-40 men and was threatened to continue through escalating forms of punishment by her abusers. 

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“At a very young age when you’re tied between fight or flight, you’re not prepared yet to fight,” Diaz said. 

She found a brief refuge in school work and sports, and eventually left her hometown for a scholarship opportunity at a school in Philadelphia in 2014. 

Although she excelled in academics, she couldn’t escape her trauma which lead her to abuse alcohol for most of her college tenure. 

“I spent ¾, pretty much most of my college duration, an alcoholic,” Diaz said. 

Benzii Diaz, 26, said she groomed into human trafficking by someone she knew in her hometown and was first molested at the age of eight.

Diaz, a Black-latino, fought back against the stigma of therapy in her community and made the difficult choice to get help. 

Diaz wrote a book and gained the courage to begin speaking out about her trauma, including becoming certified to help women going through similar traumatic experiences. 

Her business uses physical fitness as a central point for overall wellness and healing. 

“I was getting feedback that said, you know, ‘I feel so great, and I don’t feel as depressed anymore’ and ‘I’m motivated in the morning’ and I’m like ‘hey, I’m doing more than just making you look good!’,” Diaz said. 

January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, which makes Diaz’s story and message doubly important. Experts say more that 27M people are impacted by human trafficking.

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