In the News / June 2019

Happy and Safe – A Story for Pride Month

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June is Pride Month! USCRI steadfastly supports the rights of LGBT people around the world and we’re proud to share the story of Estefany:

Estefany, a 17-year old transgender girl, was referred to USCRI by the El Salvador Attorney General’s office. She was a survivor of sex trafficking who needed support. Unlike many others, there was a glimmer of Justice for her case. The traffickers had been arrested and a trial was about to begin.

But there was a snag. When Estefany was born, her mother did not register the birth. Estefany had no birth certificate, no identity document, nothing to prove that she was who she said she was. Without this documentation, the case against her traffickers would be dropped and they would go free.

This is where USCRI stepped in. We managed the legal requirements and arranged an audience with a judge. Afterward, Estefany was thrilled to receive a birth certificate and an identity card. The case against her traffickers could proceed. We supported her through the trial and worked out a plan for her safety in case the traffickers decided to take revenge.

Estefany’s traffickers received a 16-year prison sentence and were ordered to pay her $1,000 in compensation.

Today, Estefany is happy and safe. Even though her documents don’t match her gender identity, says USCRI’s Carol Olivera, “Estefany is out and proud. She has a defined sense of who she is.” With USCRI’s help, she enrolled in a cosmetology course and earned a certificate as a professional stylist. Her goal is to have her own salon someday.

Estefany is very grateful to USCRI. She says, “What I love about USCRI is that they do not discriminate. They made me feel good about myself and they helped me become a professional so I can get ahead. I can’t thank them enough.”

Read more stories of success here.

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