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In-Depth Interview: Elizabeth Quiroz Shares Her Experience as Human Trafficking Victim

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Elizabeth Quiroz was raised by an abusive mother and an abusive grandmother, and spent 12 years forced to sell drugs and sex.  She survived human trafficking, and tells her story, which is equally disturbing and inspiring.While most Americans think human trafficking is mostly about foreign women who are brought to the US and forced into prostitution, many American girls and women are forced or manipulated to work in the drug and sex trades.  It happened to Elizabeth Quiroz, born and raised in California.

Quiroz shares her story in detail, and relives the pain she experienced.  It also seems to help her heal from the trauma she experienced, first as a child raised by her abusive mother and grandmother in a world of gangs, drugs, and prostitution.  She ran away from foster care at 14, taken in by a 27-year-old who she now clearly sees as her trafficker.  He first induced her to sell drugs, then sex, and she learned to navigate the underworld of California’s numerous street gangs.

Today, Quiroz is married with 5 kids in her blended family.  She earned a pardon from former Gov. Jerry Brown in December, is working on a degree in sociology, and devotes her life to helping others escape and recover.  She’s helped organize a human trafficking support group, is a leader of the “Second Chance” club at Santa Rosa Junior College, and is employed as a counselor at Athena House.  You can contact her at