Read Part I Here
Nicky never told anyone about Frank’s molestation, not even to her lawyer. Just as many victims of sexual abuse in the United States, she felt nothing but the shame and guilt about Frank’s molestation. She hence never wanted to talk to anyone about how much it bothered her to have Frank coming into her room every night for the past 10 years. Since she had poor academic performance, none of her teachers really paid attention to her behavior changes, either.
Her mom’s negligence out of her drug abuse only drove Nicky to isolation. In Nicky’s mind, if her own mother would not care to listen to her story, no one else would. Nicky felt lonely, depressed, and isolated. Therefore, when some people showed affection or were interested in her, Nicky became emotionally dependent on them. Her emotional dependency becomes worse when a guy shows attention to her. Nicky always let her boyfriend walk all over her. When she was in 7th grader, she once stole her friend’s wallet because her 17 year-old boyfriend asked her to do so to buy a pack of cigarettes.
Likewise, Nicky was more afraid of Leo’s rejection than sleeping with Leo’s client who would only remind her of the nights of the molestation by Frank.
Her fear of Leo’s rejection was also the reason why Nicky refused to testify against Leo before the court. The night when Nicky walked into the motel room to meet Leo’s client, Leo told Nicky that if anything went wrong, Leo would come find her no matter where she would be. Leo also told Nicky that unlike her parents or Frank, he would be the only one who would stand right next to her.
Meanwhile, Nicky’s lawyer felt like her hands were tied. Unlike the Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), the Florida human trafficking statute does not include clarification that “fraud, force, or coercion by the trafficker is not required elements of the crime when the victim of trafficking is under 18 years of age.” Therefore, without proving Leo’s involvement, Nicky would be treated as a prostitute rather than sex trafficking victim.
Nicky’s fear of losing Leo’s affection was not helping Nicky’s lawyer’s case either. When the prosecutor aggressively accused Nicky of committing prostitution, Nicky’s lawyer had no ground to prove that she is a victim of sex trafficking. Nicky refused to testify against Leo or even showed willingness to drop a hint that she was lured into prostitution as she did not, by any means, want to endanger her relationship with Leo or lose his affection towards her. Nicky was holding onto Leo’s only promises: that he would never leave her even if she would be locked up in a juvenile detention center and that he would never treat her like anyone else has. He even promised Nicky that he would come visit her.
Today, just like many other victims of domestic minor sex trafficking, Nicky is locked up in a juvenile detention center in Florida. Just like yesterday, she is waiting for Leo to visit her with his warm affection.
 “a dependent pattern of behavior is more pervasive than regressed behavior. A child who exhibits this dependent pattern of behavior often allows other people to make important decisions, such as whether or not the child is hungry or needs help. Dependent children who fear rejection may agree with people even when the child knows that these people are wrong. The child may volunteer to do things that are unpleasant or demeaning in order to get other people to like him/her. A dependent child is vulnerable to exploitation and revictimization because he/she has a tendency to attach to anyone who he/she feels attends to their physical or emotional needs. This pattern of behavior can create major long-term developmental and relationship problems.” http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/treatmen/treatmenf.cfm