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An update on the Fargo women featured in Trafficked and the impact the documentary had on them

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A chance tonight to see what the impact has been on two Fargo women you met in our special documentary Trafficked.

It is an update to the story we brought you from North Dakota's oil patch. And this evening, the dramatic changes in the lives of those women following the documentary. It includes an emotional first meeting of the two.

Danielle John knows her social worker degree from M State is in sight. It just takes a few detours through math and science to get there.  Since the documentary Trafficked an amazing response from viewers to Danielle.

Danielle John\Featured in Trafficked Documentary, "Very overwhelming. The first few days after it aired my phone rang non-stop off the hook. Emails and Facebook messages from people I had not met and did not even know."

Those who watched as we told the story of Danielle working to remove the brands from her sex trafficker.

John, "They come up to me and thank me for telling my story showing empathy and sympathy. It is touching people. This is reaching people I didn't think it would. They are realizing educating themselves understanding what it is."

On this day it was time to see Danielle the survivor be Danielle the mentor.

In a surprise meeting, Danielle met one of the other women in our documentary who had been threatened by her sex traffickers.

John, "It is a start and I am willing to talk to you and show you that there is hope beyond it (sex trafficking) and that you can get out and have a great life."

For more than an hour, Danielle told Jane the story of recovery. Baby steps, not an overnight transformation.

John, "It can happen it really can it is scary, really scary at first but you can push forward and believe in yourself."

As for Jane, there are new developments in her life since the documentary. Fraser's Stepping Stones program now has a team working on her behalf as she begins her recovery from sex trafficking. She gets visitation rights with her baby twice a week and now she finally has a safe place to live, the first in many months. Again, Fraser's Stepping Stones is walking her thru this.

Ann Leuthard/Fraser Stepping Stones Program, "Besides the assessments and different steps the county requires for her to get her baby back, they want to see that stability and this is offering her a safe place, secured building, no one outside can come in."

For Jane, there is a noticeable change from the first interview, weeks ago. Scared, angry then.

Jane/Sex Trafficking Victim, "He told me if i called the cops, he would kill me."

But now she has been off backpage.com since our first interview. And with a new place to live in the metro area, she has confidence she can leave the life of sex trafficking.

Jane, "I told myself i am going to try, try to see the bigger picture. 

Leuthard, "I see emotion, I think that the walls are coming down. 

Jane, "I don't want to be in it. The temptation that this is all I am ever going to be. That is the last thing I want to think about when you need to make money is dammit I don't want to have to do this again."

And the fact Danielle has agreed to mentor her is life changing.

Jane, "I feel empowered that I can walk this journey with you, and to give you hope that you don't see the hope beyond it. All you hear is the horror stories."

This is what recovery can look like. Life after sex trafficking. Jane knows she can get there, and now she has someone in her life who knows the path to travel.

John, "I am a survivor, an over comer. I did not just survive my past. I overcame it and I am doing bigger and better things in my life."

For more on these women's story, our documentary Trafficked can be found at traffickedreport.com.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

(701) 241-5317
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