Human trafficking survivor-activist Shyima Hall

Now a U.S. citizen, the former child slave opens up about her harrowing real-life story, as detailed in her book, Hidden Girl, and her subsequent life in the U.S.

Shyima Hall made headlines because of her story of being sold into slavery by her parents at age 8. She's now a survivor advocate and passionate about helping to rescue others in bondage. Hall was born in Egypt to desperately poor parents who sold her for $30 dollars a month. She moved with her wealthy enslavers to Cairo, where she worked around the clock. At age 10, her captors smuggled her into Orange County, CA, but, two years later—thanks to an anonymous call from a neighbor­—she was rescued from servitude. The naturalized U.S. citizen speaks out about human trafficking and candidly reveals how she overcame her harrowing circumstances in her memoir, Hidden Girl.

TRANSCRIPT

Tavis: Some sobering stats that tell, I think, a grim story. Twenty-one million people worldwide are modern-day slaves, victims of forced labor, 43,000 in this country, the USA, alone.

One of those enslaved and now free, thankfully, to tell her story is Shyima Hall, whose autobiography is called “Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern Day Child Slave.” Shyima, good to have you on this program.

Shyima Hall: Thank you for having me.

Tavis: I’m glad you’re free.

Hall: Thank you.

Tavis: We talked on my radio show, my public radio show, and I was so taken by our conversation I thought we would continue this a bit here on public television.

So I want to have you go back through this again, but give me some sense of how you found yourself being sold into slavery in the first place.

Hall: It really all started with my older sister. I am a seven of 11 kids, and she worked for a family in Egypt as a maid, by choice. She ended up pretty much stealing money from them, and they gave my parents the choice of either just either we put her in jail or you give us somebody else in replacement, and somebody younger, so we can teach her our way, and she does it exactly how we want it.

Tavis: So it was either prosecute your older sister for theft or replace her with somebody to pay off this debt.

Hall: Exactly. Exactly.

Tavis: So you end up being put up by your parents as the replacement for your older sister to pay off this debt.

Hall: Exactly.

Tavis: All right. Give me some sense of this family that you were basically given as a barter arrangement to. Tell me about this family that you were living with and working for.

Hall: I lived with them in Egypt for two years. They were a very wealthy family; pretty much they can do anything they want. But they also had the heart of letting you know that you work for them and they’re above you – cruel, pretty much, of how they are.

They didn’t care for anybody else’s rights other than their owns, and I lived with them here in the U.S. for two years as well.

Tavis: Yeah. So two years you lived with them in Egypt.

Hall: Yes.

Tavis: You were what age when you were basically, again, turned over to be their slave?

Hall: Eight years old.

Tavis: How many?

Hall: Eight years old.

Tavis: You were eight years old then, as I said. So you stayed there for two years, so you’re about 10. How did you end up here in the States from Egypt?

Hall: Well I didn’t finish off the debt yet, so they told my parents they needed, they’re leaving, so they’re going to take me with them. They arranged everything and I came over with, not with them, with another guy, who took me with him to pretty much act like he was my dad so it would be okay for me to come to the U.S.

Tavis: So they snuck you in, basically.

Hall: Pretty much, yeah.

Tavis: Right.

Hall: On a two-month visa. Then I came and I worked for them here in -

Tavis: In Southern California?

Hall: Yup.

Tavis: Yeah. It’s one thing for your parents – and when we say your parents, we mean your mom and your dad, signed off on you being their slave in Egypt.

Hall: Yeah.

Tavis: It’s one thing for your parents to put you up as the repayment, or the payoff of a debt. It’s another thing, though, for your parents to let you leave the country with this family.

Hall: I thought about it so many times. The only way for me to take it is they had 11 kids, and said why not one, one to go.

Tavis: One could go, as if you weren’t going to be missed?

Hall: Pretty much.

Tavis: Yeah. Of the 11 kids that they had, your one sister stole the money and so she’s off on the run somewhere, I guess. But that leaves 10 other kids.

Hall: Yeah.

Tavis: Have you ever thought about why of those 10 kids you were the one that your parents offered up to pay the debt off?

Hall: When she went and they told her what happened, I was the one that was with her with one more younger than me. She was the baby of the 11, maybe less than a year. So it was easy for her to be like, “Oh, here you go.”

Tavis: So your – I got it. So your mother went to their home to hear the story of what had happened -

Hall: Yeah.

Tavis: – and what the deal, what the proposal was. You were with your mother at that time.

Hall: Yes.

Tavis: So kind of like wrong place, wrong time.

Hall: Pretty much.

Tavis: Yeah.

Hall: Pretty much.

Tavis: All right, so you’re with this family two years in Egypt. You then are snuck into the country to be their slave to pay off this debt here in Southern California. Tell me about where you’re living here in Southern California and what you were doing specifically for this family as their maid, or slave.

Hall: I lived with them here in the U.S. in a beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood.

Tavis: In L.A., Orange County?

Hall: In it’s Anaheim, I guess, Orange County, Anaheim.

Tavis: Orange County, okay. And they had five kids, mom and dad, and my job was to get up, get the two twins ready for school, get their clothes, lunches, everything, as well for all the other three girls.

Two of them were, one of them was in college, one was in high school, so they were a little bit older, but I still did the same thing – get them ready, get their -

Tavis: But you’re a kid yourself, you’re 10 years old. You’re 10, and you’re taking care of other kids?

Hall: That’s not how they really saw me. They saw me, I was their maid and I worked for them. I didn’t see myself as a kid, honestly, either, so I didn’t stop to think about it that way.

Tavis: Yeah. So how did they treat you? They’re wealthy; they’re taking good care of their own five kids.

Hall: Of course.

Tavis: You’re their slave, their maid. How’d they treat you?

Hall: It was pretty bad. They let you know that you work for us and you don’t speak, you don’t say anything. Whatever we tell you, you do it, and you do it right then and there, and there’s nothing else you can do about it.

Tavis: What were your living conditions in this gorgeous house that they lived in?

Hall: In the beautiful home, I slept in a garage in a storage room, pretty much, where all the luggage was. I had my bed there. There was no light, no air, no window, nothing, and that’s where they put me.

Tavis: Right. I want to fast-forward on because my time is running here and I want to encourage people to read your book. There’ve been a number of journalists who’ve been writing about this issue for years, trying to get the nation’s attention to focus more on the fact that there are too many children who are enslaved.

Again, in case you just tuned in, 43,000 of these modern-day slaves living in this country. People just like Shyima.

So you were there for a couple of years, and tell me what happens. How do you get rescued, how does it get out that you’re there, how do you get discovered and get found out?

Hall: There was a neighbor called in and said, “Hey, there’s a child that’s always there, always seems to be cleaning around the house, and doesn’t go to school.” One day it just so happened the door knocked and they came in, and it was -

Tavis: Who’s “they?”

Hall: The cops.

Tavis: The cops, yeah.

Hall: Social service I believe was there too. They pretty much fought him the whole time, the dad. I was wasn’t allowed to open the door, so he opened the door.

Tavis: So you were not allowed to open the door.

Hall: No.

Tavis: Because they knew you were illegal, essentially.

Hall: Of course. Oh, of course. They let you know too, that you are not allowed to or the cops will take you and beat you up.

Tavis: That’s what they told you, to put the fear into you -

Hall: Definitely.

Tavis: – that if you answered the door, the cops would take you.

Hall: Yeah.

Tavis: But on this day, the cops come a’knocking -

Hall: Knocking -

Tavis: – he answers the door -

Hall: Definitely, and then he, I hear yelling. All of a sudden the door closes again. Less than five minutes, they come back in with a warrant and they pretty much dragged me out of the house.

They put an Arabic speaker on the phone and said, “Hey, it’s okay, these people are here to help you.” Honestly, it was, to me it wasn’t a help, it was I was scared.

I didn’t know. These are all the things they tell you if it happens, what would happen to you.

Tavis: But they were there to help you.

Hall: At the time, I didn’t think so.

Tavis: Yeah, you didn’t know that, yeah.

Hall: Yeah, definitely.

Tavis: But they were.

Hall: They were, they definitely were.

Tavis: And they helped you.

Hall: They sure did.

Tavis: Yeah, and you eventually got out.

Hall: Definitely, I got out.

Tavis: I guess the questions on my mind, and I suspect everybody watching right now, is when you finally got out, at some point, obviously, contact was made back with your parents in Egypt.

I’m just assuming that your parents were just on cloud nine and they were grateful that you’d been discovered and found, and you were on your way back home to Egypt.

But I know that ain’t how the story ends, because you’re here in Los Angeles. So what happened when they got in touch with your parents back in Egypt?

Hall: They pretty much told me how ungrateful I was, and how unthankful I was for -

Tavis: Your parents are telling you how ungrateful you are?

Hall: – for walking away. For walking away from the people that put a roof on top of my head.

Tavis: I see the tears in your eyes. How does that – you’ve written a book about this and you’ve gone on to establish your own life and your own career. How does it strike you after all this time that your parents pretty much sold you into slavery, kind of gave you away to pay off the family debt.

And that even after your being rescued and these persons, this family being brought to justice, you still, your parents still didn’t -

Hall: They didn’t see it that way. They saw it as a -

Tavis: Right behind you, there you go.

Hall: Thank you. They saw it as – that was an income to them, and I took that away from them. They didn’t see it as our daughter, part of us is in trouble, or unhappy, or been abused. They didn’t see it that way. They – I was the wrong; I was in the wrong to them.

Tavis: Yeah. How have you – I want to talk about your life now in just a second, but I’m trying to get a sense, Shyima, of how you have, how you’ve shored up, built up your own self-determination and self-respect, how you celebrate your own humanity.

Because you have a family that gives you away, that sells you into slavery, there’s another family that treats you like dirt, and even when you get out, you’re in this country with no friends, because you’ve been locked down in a house, in a garage, all these years.

You have no friends, you have no family here, the family you have in Egypt, pardon my English, ain’t worth going back to, because they gave you away, they sold you into – I’m just trying to get a sense of where does the, how did you navigate your way, how’d you work your way through feeling worthless and helpless?

Hall: It was a long trip, honestly. I went through my share of foster parents and share of therapies and all the happy medication they can put you on, but nothing really have helped me other than me saying this is what I want, I want to be somebody, I don’t want to be shut down.

Knowing that human traffic happens so much, it gives me more courage to stand up and to speak out for the people who don’t have a voice to. I was lucky enough to be saved. There’s a lot of people who are not, and I want to speak out for them.

Tavis: So is that what you want to do with your life? Is that your ultimate goal here with this book, “Hidden Girl,” was to tell your story and to help other people get their story out?

Tavis:

Hall: Definitely.

Tavis: Yeah.

Hall: Definitely. I want to help the people that can’t speak, and to let people know that human traffic doesn’t happen, it’s not a history thing, because a lot of people’s like, “No, that’s back then, that happened back then. Nothing happens like this now.”

I want to let them know that this happens now, this happens today in our own country, and it’s time for us to turn the light on it.

Tavis: Are you a U.S. citizen now?

Hall: Yes, I sure am.

Tavis: You are?

Hall: Yes.

Tavis: When did that happen? When did that happen and how did that feel?

Hall: It happened 2011. It felt amazing. I really wanted to become a U.S. citizen so I can become a cop.

Tavis: Oh, you want to be a cop?

Hall: Yeah, I want to be an ICE agent, actually.

Tavis: Right. I think I get it, but why do you want to be an ICE agent?

Hall: I want to be able to help and to be able to assist people just like I was been helped. I had a great mentor for this whole time from ICE. He was great to me and he helped me through all the stuff I’ve been through, and I want to be the same way, to be able to assist somebody else.

Tavis: The writing of this book, “Hidden Girl,” did it, was it therapeutic for you, did it help you process this stuff better, did it bring up horrible memories and nightmares, or did it do all of that?

Hall: It did every single word you said, honestly. It definitely did. I was actually pregnant when I did this. (Laughs) So it was even a little bit harder. But I think I’m healing as I’m doing this, and at the same time there’s a lot of unanswered questions for my parents that it always keeps going through my head, like why.

Tavis: What about your other siblings? I talked about, we talked earlier about your parents, and I’m not sure that I will ever quite understand how a parent, how two parents, sell their kids into slavery, and when she’s rescued they get mad at her for ruining a good situation.

I don’t know if I have the capacity to process that. But what about your other siblings? I love my mom and dad. I love them dearly and I’d hate to be separated from them, but I’ve got nine brothers and sisters, and I love my brothers and sisters.

So it’s one thing not to have a relationship with my parents, which I’m glad I have, but I don’t know how I would navigate my life without being able to hang out with my brothers and sisters . So how have you dealt with being estranged from your siblings?

Hall: I would love to meet them one day again. I’ve met them all, but that was when I was younger.

Tavis: If you saw them now, would you recognize them?

Hall: No, I wouldn’t, honestly. I don’t even remember their names. I would not know -

Tavis: You don’t even remember their names now.

Hall: No

Tavis: Because there were 11 of you. You’ve been just gone for so long that the names have kind of escaped you.

Hall: Just gone. I would not know how to react, honestly, and I lived my whole life without them or my parents, that I’m okay where I am. I have my own friends that are like sisters and brothers to me, that I’m okay to just have them, and I believe you make your own family, and I think I’ve made my own family.

Tavis: So you want to be an ICE agent, and you’ve become a U.S. citizen and you’re working toward becoming an ICE agent. So just give me a sense of how your life is these days.

You mentioned the baby and you mentioned your friends and the family that you’ve created here in the United States now. So just kind of give me a sense of what your life is like these days and how you stay – I know you’re staying busy on book tour right now, but give me some sense of your life these days, Shyima.

Hall: It’s a busy life. I love my boyfriend and my daughter, beautiful.

Tavis: I heard the baby – (laughter) I walked out – Shyima’s dressing room today happens to be across the hall from mine, and I talked to her, as I said earlier, on our radio show and I wanted to continue this on television.

So I had not met her before until today, but I also knew that she had a baby, and I walked out of my dressing room, I said, “Well she must be here,” because I heard this baby just having a good time across the hallway. So I haven’t met her yet, but I know your baby’s here.

Hall: Yes.

Tavis: So yeah, you got a boyfriend, you got a baby, but how’s life? Are you happy now? Are you -?

Hall: I’m very, very happy, very satisfied, and I enjoy every moment of my life. I definitely do.

Tavis: Yeah. What happened to the family when the agents came to rescue you, the police showed up? They obviously were in violation of a number of laws – child endangerment and the list goes on and on and on, I suspect.

What happened to the family here? How much time they spend in jail, in prison?

Hall: She spent two years, as long as she had me in the U.S.

Tavis: The mother spent two years.

Hall: Yes.

Tavis: They gave her two years because of the, again, to your point, she had you in slavery for two years here in this country.

Hall: (Unintelligible) yes.

Tavis: So they gave her two years.

Hall: Yes.

Tavis: What about the father?

Hall: He got three years.

Tavis: He got three years.

Hall: The laws were a little different back then. I was the first case for Orange County, so the laws are a little different now, a little harsher. So, but back then it was just more of like they plead guilty, they got the minimum, and that was it.

Tavis: What do you make of that? How do you process the fact that they enslaved you in Egypt, they snuck you into the country, they enslaved you here, had you sleeping in a garage with no light, no heat, no air, no anything, and then she ends up getting like two years.

Hall: Two years.

Tavis: He only gets three years. How’d you process that light sentencing?

Hall: At the time, honestly, I was kind of just glad. Like there’s an example of this, and I got to see them get put in handcuffs. So that was amazing to me as well.

But I’m glad that the laws changed now for other survivors. I’m okay that I was an example. There’s nothing else the government would have done, honestly, if they plead guilty. I don’t think it was fair, but they plead guilty in the end.

Tavis: Yeah. This is obviously not your fault. You were a child, and this damage was done to you by adults. But has there been any, have you wrestled with feelings of embarrassment, feelings of guilt?

Your parents tried to make you feel guilty. Have you wrestled with feelings of embarrassment or feelings of guilt as you’ve tried to, as you’re healing, trying to navigate your way through this?

Hall: I will say yes, the embarrassment.

Tavis: What do you feel embarrassed – I don’t know why, but what do you feel embarrassed about?

Hall: Just the whole thing. Your own parents and no one really understand the situation, even if you tried to explain it to them, that those are my parents, that’s why I don’t have parents.

But I’m an adult now and I’m okay with it. But as a kid going through it, I was embarrassed. But as of right now, I’m an adult and I know how to deal with it better. I know how to explain myself, and I don’t really explain myself. I’m more of like this really happens. Not only to me; it happens to a lot of people. I’m okay of saying that.

Tavis: Yeah. What kind of response have you been getting to the book?

Hall: Great responses, great. A lot of people are very, very surprised that this happens in the U.S., so I’m glad, as much as I struggled of doing this, I’m glad I’ve done it.

Tavis: Your daughter’s name is?

Hall: Athena.

Tavis: Athena. Love that. The goddess.

Hall: Yes.

Tavis: Athena. Why’d you name her Athena?

Hall: The goddess of war and wisdom.

Tavis: Yeah, that’s why.

Hall: It was a great meaning to me.

Tavis: I like it. War and wisdom – I love it. Makes perfect sense. (Laughter) How much of this, how much of this will you tell Athena? I assume at some point she’ll know the whole story; she’ll be able to read one day and she’ll read it for herself.

But how do you expect that you will tell your daughter this, and when do you expect that that conversation years from now, do you ever envision how that conversation might happen with you and Athena?

Hall: I try to think about it just because I know kids are very smart now, and they grow up knowing a lot of things really fast. So I don’t see it happening like in two years or so, but maybe in four or five, for her to understand that our world is not perfect, and there’s wrong that happens to others. Definitely.

Tavis: I am curious as to how your experience being maltreated by your mother has impacted, influenced the way that you mother Athena. You must be really – I almost feel sorry for the baby. (Laughter)

You must be awfully overprotective. You must swarm her all the time. Maybe that’s why she was screaming in the hallway, “Tavis, come get me.” (Laughter) How has this experience influenced your being a mother?

Hall: Wow. I am very, very protective.

Tavis: I figured, yeah.

Hall: A lot of people don’t understand it for a long time until the book came out, and they were like, “Oh, okay, we get it.” She’s my world. I’m going to keep her close to me and I’m going to try to do everything in the world for her.

Like, I’m going to give her everything that I never had, and more. So I am very excited to be a mom. I love it, everything about it. Even through the sleeps and the terrible twos, I still love it. I still love it.

Tavis: Yeah. I know you’re not glad that you had to go through this experience, but I can only assume, given the response to the book, that you’re glad you did the book, and that you don’t have any regrets about telling your story.

Hall: No, I don’t. No. I’m very glad it happened, and I’m very glad I met the right people to get me to do this. So I’m very glad.

Tavis: Do you have any way of knowing, maybe not, but do you have any way of knowing whether or not the fact that this book has been written has gotten back to your family in Egypt?

Do they know that this book even exists? Do you have any way of knowing that?

Hall: I have no way of knowing that, no, honestly. No. I don’t keep in contact with them. I spoke to them in 2009, the last time, and that’s when they told me my biological father died.

Tavis: Your father’s passed away now?

Hall: Mm-hmm.

Tavis: Right.

Hall: That was really it. I really don’t have anything to say to them, or – nothing.

Tavis: Yeah. Life goes on.

Hall: Exactly.

Tavis: Life goes on.

Hall: Exactly.

Tavis: It’s a powerful story. Her name is Shyima Hall. The book is called “Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern Day Child Slave.” Shyima, I’m happy for you, and delighted to have you on this program, I wish under different circumstances.

But I’m really celebrating the work that you are doing now to raise higher on the national agenda this issue of human trafficking. So thanks for your story, thanks for coming on, and you take care of Athena.

Hall: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Tavis: My pleasure. That’s our show for tonight. Thanks for watching, and as always, keep the faith.

“Announcer:” For more information on today’s show, visit Tavis Smiley at PBS.org.

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“Announcer:” And by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you. Thank you.

  • Tamara Loewenthal

    What a great interview, with a brave and vulnerable woman. Really appreciate this in-depth conversation with a non-celebrity on a little-addressed topic. Would love to see Tavis do more of this.

  • Jim glass ford

    Hello Travis.
    Iam a professor from Egypt and live in North America .shyma story is not abnormal to the Egyptians at all.what you call slavery her in USA is considered an act of kindness in Egypt.shyma and those like her left in Egypt will have ended as a miserable child in Egypt in educated and poor and pregnant at 15maximum and living in misery. Many Egyptian families in Egypt have girls like shyma.they are given to them by thir parents because they are poor. This is no difference than nannies and maids hired from Philippine on a contract for years. The Egyptian family had they been living in Egypt this would not have happend to them.and shyma family would have been very great flu to that rich family that they took their daughter and gave her shelter and food.coming to America changed this whole thing usa laws would not allow such thing as enslaving another human being and that is great.but make no mistake there are many rich people who have many shma’s in their home and feel no guilt what so ever.
    Shyma will never see her biological family any more because they believe it or not feel that their daughter have done a terrible thing by not covering for the rich family that gave her shelter it’s a twisted logic. Also now shyma has a baby without wedding this is a the most horrible thing a woman can do. Ie a baby with out being married.they will never talk to her just flor that.having an illigetimate child in Egypt is a death sentence in Egypt.coming from a poor family and having an illegitimate child is the biggest shameful act in an Egyptian family,hence she will never be accepted by her family. Please don’t apply North American logic to Egyptian logic they don’t equate at all.i don’t agree to what happend to shims at all as an Egyptian in North America .but I wonder what would my feeling be if I never lived in North America iam sure it would have been different.
    One more point if that family was a true muslim family they would not have done that it’s forbidden .the profit Mohammed said who gives you the right to enslave a human being when the all mighty brought them to earth free.good luck shyma and I wish you the best in your life.oh one more think ( I seem like columbo ) yes I have been in USA for about 40 years but in good contact wit the Egyptian culture. Her boy friend is a person who has a spanish name which means he is non muslim. Just dating anon muslim in Egypt is an absolutely forbidden un spoken act imagine having a baby from him.egyptian families do not and will not accept that.
    It has nothing to do with any thing except Egyptian traditions are absolutely positively engrained in the monds of Egyptian people to many many many Egyptian that act having a baby from wedlock and a non muslim boy friend impregnating her is the most shameful thing a woman can do to her family.
    I read the Egyptian news papers daily on the internet analmost every wheel an honor killing happens for aless infraction (due to sex) occurs.
    Finally I enjoy your show it’s fun and you bring people whom the other media neglect to light qudos for you. And also I being an African North American I salute you
    Jim glass ford ( ph.d)

  • Bobie

    What a Heart Retching story! I dislike my Country America, but what was done to this young girl is beyond what I could ever imagine me doing to my children! I know I put up with men I did not want to be bothered with to get funds to take care of them, but NEVER could I sell off my children! For they did NOT ASK to be born, having unprotected “boy’s sowing their oaks sex, got me into a situation I did not want to be in, but I knew I had to take CARE and PROTECT the children I brought into this world! How could parent’s in EGYPT do this to their children? It just pains my heart! Mort importantly, please advise this young lady that despite the fact she wants to SPOIL her daughter, to give her everything she lacked, the best she can do is give her the LOVE and PROTECTION her parents did not give her! But don’t spoil her the way she has expressed, because her daughter will end up like so many American children, expecting her to do what she should be training her daughter to do! To become independent and RESPONSIBLE; not relying on mom to take care of her EVERYTHING, while she lays on her SPOILED BUTT! Please someone, talk to this abused, used young mother! Otherwise, she will be raising a NIGHTMARE, whereby she thought she was doing all the right things! GET HER IN PARENTING CLASSES! Otherwise, her daughter is DOOMED, because of what she says she will do for her, and that will be DESTROYING HER CHILD! She needs to watch Dr. Phil Show, whereby parents are taking care of, and supporting their SPOILED SORRY ADULT CHILDREN!

  • T in Ohio

    I just finished reading the book, which is awesome. I had absolutely no idea that this goes on in our country today. I know that there are many people, especially illegal immigrants who don’t earn fair wages but had no clue about slavery, especially child slavery.

    My other comment it’s about the punishment “The Dad” and “The Mom” received. All I can say is that judge needs to be removed from the bench! I don’t know the details of the charges against Shyima’s captors or maximum allowable penalties, but a non-custodial parent faces more jail time for not returning their own biological child to the custodial parent, especially if it was a bitter divorce and horrible custody battle over the children. At a minimum I would think that a single charge of kidnapping would bring more jail time than they received.

    Shyima – If “The Dad” is still in this country and is still wealthy, you should consider filing a civil suit. I know from reading your book that you’d just like to put him in the past and get on with your life, but with your health condition of RA the may come a time when you may not be able to provide for your daughter and a monetary settlement would be beneficial, even if it’s set aside for her college. Again, not knowing the details, perhaps his payment of your past “wages” when you “worked” for him precludes you from filing a suit.

    Anyway…I wish you well and hope you get to realize your dream of becoming an ICE agent or law enforcer. Have a great life w your family…girl, you have earned it!!! (and ignore the negative comments posted here…they even anger me).

  • Jane White

    What a well done interivew with a subject, Human Trafficking, that must be brought beyond just awareness level to our communities. Ms. Hall tells a horrific and factual accounting of her life in such a way that it can be understood and felt by those who can hear this or read the book of her life. Many, many things were said that were important including the mention of mentorship and recovery that MUST be a part of our on-going committment to survirors. Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force

  • Shania

    This story/interview has inspired me to move on and succeed through my future. Reading this book is making me want to graduate high school and college feeling like I am a successful person. I want to grow up and do grateful things just like Shyima did. I will never take ANYTHING for granted through out my entire life.

Last modified: March 28, 2014 at 11:57 pm