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After falling prey to traffickers as a teenager Ruth Rondon broke free from 18 years of drug addiction and trafficking at age 33. She secretly endured abuse and on-going trauma, first as a child, and then as an adult, always living just beyond the reach of anyone who cared for her, including her family.

For years Ruth navigated through life in survival mode, lonely and oblivious to her own potential and to the power she held inside. 

After finally breaking free from drug addiction, and from the cycle of abuse, she vowed to be a victim no more, but a victor. She went on to work as a deputy clerk for Kent County Michigan for 23 years and retired in 2015. Retirement enabled her to begin helping victims to become victors, like herself, and to teach advocates how to walk along side of them.  

When human trafficking became a word you could say in public, Ruth realized that most of her life is recorded in public records. By searching public records, she looked for answers about her past. She kept a journal of her findings, trying to make sense of her life, and get her past in better perspective. By persevering through the triggers and the painful memories, and by facing her fears, Ruth says she was finally able to put her life story in order and put some of her traumas into words. Ruth says this was a huge step in the healing process. Eventually those words became a book. It took a total of five years to write her memoir, The “Realities of Human Trafficking: From the Inside Out to Freedom”. She almost gave up on writing it on several occasions because as she wrote she felt the fear and terror, as if it was happening all over again. But she says that after the last chapter was written she was able to step back, close the book, take a look at her life, from the outside looking in this time, and she had a burst of gratefulness that she has survived it all. She says this is when she was finally able to embrace her survival and stop staring at her traumas like she had been doing for so long.  Quote, “Now it’s just a story that doesn’t haunt me anymore.”  

In March of 2015 Ruth was appointed by Governor Snyder to serve on the Michigan Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board. She served on this board until her term expired in December 2020. Ruth says that from being on this board she has learned so much more about herself, our government and about human trafficking.  

By doing the difficult, inner work she did, the agony of carrying an untold story inside her finally subsided. She says it all helped her change the way her story ends.  Presently, Ruth is a sought-after speaker against child exploitation and trafficking, and a board member of a new nonprofit combating human trafficking, “Liberty Leaders Unite”. Her passion is to raise awareness and end the war on children.

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