I Love Life: Human Trafficking Survivor Speaks Out
Julie Woodley, founder and director of Restoring the Heart Ministries, is a child sexual abuse survivor.
“I was sexually abused, physically abused, emotionally abused. All of this took a toll on me. Then I was sold into sex trafficking in my young teens by my father to men that would come into town. The abuse was pretty extensive.”
So, how did the abuse impact Julie?
“I was very confused. I had a very distorted thought of what love was because that was the way my father showed me that he loved me. I got into the drugs of my time---marijuana and alcohol. I also became promiscuous as many young people do after being sexually abused.”
If you’re being sexually abused, Julie offers this message of hope!
“No matter where you’re at---you can be healed. I feel that God has brought me to amazing healing. You need to tell someone. Do not keep it a secret. It takes a toll on you and on the people you love. Those distorted thoughts about your self are poison. It’s important that you find a counselor you can talk with and get help.”
It’s not easy telling someone you are being abused.
“I was rather scared to talk to anybody. In my situation, a man and his family would come into the restaurant where I worked. They began to love me. I didn’t know it at the time. But, the man was head of the Christian radio station in Minneapolis. I found out he was on Christian radio. I would listen to him at night. He would lead us through the scriptures. So slowly I would let the secret out.”
How is Julie’s life today?
“I feel like a bursting ball of joy that gets the opportunity to go around the country and impact others!”
Julie Woodley, who has worked as a trauma counselor for 20 years, is a Real Survivor who is definitely making a difference!