Reality of Human Trafficking in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. — The reality of human trafficking in Oregon is a much bleaker and more violent picture than what most people realize according to those who deal with the cases on the streets.

A Portland pimp convinced her to take up what she calls, “The life.”  “We’ve all seen the movies and the television shows that kind of glamorizes that, the sex trade.”

But what really happened was far rougher.  ”In my experience in six years, I was raped countless times. I had guns put in my face, strangled.”

She recalling the pain of this incident. “Christmas, I was pregnant. I went into labor with my oldest daughter because my trafficker came home after he’d been gone for two days smoking dope.”

Now, Robin Miller works with Portland Police trying to help women and children get out of that life, and she knows it’s even worse for many of them than it was for her. “It’s not unique. That’s nothing. What I’ve seen in the 10 years I’ve done this work, all of those atrocities times a thousand done onto children.”

Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney J.R. Ujafusa prosecutes cases against the traffickers. “Look at the realities of what happens on the street, in hotels, in apartment complexes, in cars and take a look at the amount of violence.”

He focuses especially on those targeting children.  “The amount of manipulation and control, and the lack of choices these individuals have, not only the individuals who are being actively trafficked by a trafficker, but adults who may not have a trafficker at that time, many of them have been trafficked as children before.”


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