Virginia Isaias, President and Founder of “Fundacion de Sobrevivientes de Trafico Humano” is a Mexican-American citizen and a survivor of human trafficking. Virginia grew up in a violent home where she witnessed the constant abuse of her mother resulting in a difficult childhood. At the age of 15, her father arranged for her to be married without her consent. During this arranged marriage, she endured 12 years of domestic violence. Throughout her life she experienced multiple abuses but kept them a secret as she was raised in a culture where you “keep silent.” Through all the abuse, Virginia moved forward and gave birth to a daughter. One day Virginia made a trip to Guadalajara with her 6-month-old daughter, a trip that would change her life completely.
Virginia and her daughter were kidnapped in Guadalajara by a human trafficking ring. They were taken to various parts of the country from Oaxaca to Chiapas. She was then sold into prostitution for three months. During that time, Virginia was tortured numerous ways to the point of getting beaten into unconsciousness. She endured the most terrible torture and sexual exploitation at the hands of ruthless traffickers in Mexico. She attempted to escape three times. On her second attempt, she was recaptured. She was severely tortured and mutilated as punishment. At this point her daughter had been sold.
During these horrific times she witnessed first-hand the torture of other women; they were severely beaten and even killed. She continued to be prostituted while coming up with an escape plan. She convinced the head trafficker to bring her daughter back with the notion of her doing whatever he wanted. She had been advised by another entrapped man to run straight and that once she got to a lake some people would be waiting for her on the other side. On the night of her escape, she had nothing but a red shawl and paper shoes made out of cartons. She wrapped her daughter up close to her chest and ran straight without veering in any direction as she had been told to do.
After all these horrific events, Virginia has now overcome many of her traumas and has risked her life to be a tireless advocate for survivors of human trafficking and violence. She founded the Fundacion de Sobrevivientes de Trafico Humano, a 501 c(3) non-profit in 2010, whose vision is “A world without violence, slavery and exploitation where survivors of human trafficking live dignified, happy, and self-fulfilling lives”. Through the Foundation, she provides educational workshops that shed light on a tragic crime taking place in our world as well as information on how to prevent such crimes. Virginia offers resources and rehabilitation to survivors so that they can be empowered to live happy, free lives. She has been committed to this cause since 2010 and is devoted to serving her community. She has been honored with many recognitions and awards for her excellent work and is currently the subject of a documentary project titled “Sands of Silence”