Vanessa Jass came from very humble beginnings and a physically abusive childhood. At 17 years old she was thrown out of her parents’ home and ended up in a horrific situation as a victim of domestic human trafficking. At 18 years old her roommate and friend Kelly was murdered, and Vanessa, being the last to see Kelly alive, was forced to identify the body. After several attempts at escape, and close calls with death, Vanessa was able to leave that violent life behind, carving out a life for herself and her new baby boy.
With the assistance of government funding, scholarships, and other resources, she attended university for 8 years and became a lawyer. She opened and ran her own firm for over 15 years until complex PTSD took over her thoughts. She kept this secret for many years, and the traumatic memories and thoughts of her former friend never left her mind. 27 years had gone by since the murder, and she always believed that she survived and suffered for a particular reason, but did not know why. She soon discovered the reason, and that it was time to tell her story. It was time to use her experience to show the world that human trafficking is not only a news headline. The victims are real girls, real sisters, real daughters, real mothers, real brothers, and real sons.
I AM REAL is Vanessa’s story.