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 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 clerk for 27 years. Retirement enabled her to begin helping victims to become victors, like herself; and to teach advocates how to walk along side of them. Ruth’s passion is to inspire a generation to become part of the solution in winning the war on slavery.

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 of her past, and by facing her fears, Ruth says she was finally able to put her life story into words. 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, all over again. But she says that after the last chapter was written she was able to step back, close the book, and take a look at her life, from the outside looking in this time, and she had a burst of gratefulness that she had survived it all. Quote “Now it’s just a story that doesn’t haunt me anymore. Now I embrace my survival instead of staring at the traumas like I did for so long.

Go here to read the description and purchase her book.

In March of 2015 Ruth was appointed by Governor Snyder to serve a two year term on the Michigan Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board. In December 2016, she was reappointed to serve a four year term. Ruth says from being on this board she has learned so much more about herself, about human trafficking and about our government.

In 2015, Ruth joined Patti Hathaway on a mission to eradicate human trafficking. Patti is the daughter of the counselor who played an important role in helping Ruth discover her true value and potential when she was 34 years old. Ruth looked up some people from her past, who helped her along on her journey to freedom. She looked up her counselor (and others) to thank him and his wife for all they have done for her. Later she met their daughter Patti, by “accident” on Face Book. Ruth and Patti shared their experiences in fighting human trafficking and they both realized that they make an awesome and unique team. They knew God had a hand in their coming together. Their relationship evolved into creating online Human Trafficking training programs on:www.HumanTraffickingElearning.com

Ruth feels that by taking the leap in faith she took in 1989, at age 33, another door to even more freedom was opened. 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.

Keynotes

Ruth has told her story to various audiences to spread the awareness and to educate others. Her passion is to inspire a generation to end human trafficking. She provides valuable insight on how to prevent human trafficking, how to intervene and also how to engage with victims.

She has been the keynote speaker at several different conferences and training sessions to a diverse group of professionals and non-professionals alike, including law enforcement, clergy, courts/ justice system, politicians and health care professionals.

Testimonials

“Thank you for sharing your story and heart with us. Our entire staff and I were both moved and motivated by your story. You are very influential Ruth! Thank you for all you do to educate and motivate people around HT.”
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Annual Conference in Mt. Pleasant, MI on Oct 19, 2016

“Thank you so much for speaking to our membership in Bay City. You did indeed have a tremendous impact, and as a result, efforts are being undertaken by our group to get busy! I’ve even had inquiries about how to contact you to speak at other events our members are planning.”

Michigan County Social Services Association, Annual Conference, Bay City MI, August 23, 2016

“It blew me away to hear how Ruth was able to pull herself up out of a life of such turmoil and go on to make a good life for herself. I appreciate her honesty and ability to be specific of what others can do to prevent human trafficking and also intervene.”
Judge at Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Judges Summit, Ann Arbor, Michigan September 29, 2016

“I am amazed at the bravery of the HT victims I meet in my court but I was blown away by Ruth’s bravery when we shared the stage at the Judges Summit. Ruth was articulate and so honest in her speech – I mentioned her at least 4 times in my own speech because I was so impressed with her.”
Judge at Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Judges Summit, Ann Arbor, Michigan September 29, 2016

“Thank you for taking the time to come talk with our nurses. They really enjoyed talking with you. From hearing you speak I feel I am better equipped to recognize and engage with victims of Human Trafficking. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to spread the awareness of this issue.”
SANE staff meeting, Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph, Michigan on May 12, 2016

“Thank you so much for speaking at our women’s group at our church. Your testimony is powerful and inspiring. The women in our group were moved to hear your story. You are proof that God can transform lives.”
Rush Creek Bible Church, Byron Center Michigan August 5, 2015

“Thank you so much for speaking at our conference. You were phenomenal!”
University of Michigan Human Trafficking Law Clinic, Michigan Human Trafficking Commission’s 2016 Fall Conference September 29, 2016, Ann Arbor Michigan

“I’m a spiritual director and Ruth’s testimony is powerful and inspiring. Hearing her speak with such strength and candor people were totally engaged with her speech. Ruth has a unique ability to touch people’s hearts while providing practical suggestions on how to work with victims.”

“I’m a Physician’s Assistant and Ruth’s personal story made it easier to see that human trafficking does happen to people like me. She wasn’t from a third world country…she’s like many students today: alone, abused and desperate for love.”

“I’m in healthcare and I appreciate Ruth who was kind enough to put a real face to the problem of human trafficking.”

“I’m an engineer. Ruth spoke from personal experience and an inner strength and persistence which enabled her to renew, forgive and find the strength to help others.”

“I’m in law enforcement and it was a huge impact hearing from someone who’s personally involved. Ruth’s story was powerful and I am grateful she is willing to speak with such honesty.”

“I’m in counseling-pastoral care work. Ruth was the most impactful because of what her story told of removing shame.”

“Your presentation helped us to understand that there are ways that we can help victims and thank you for the specific instructions. I have so much respect for your ability to communicate to those who want to help victims of human trafficking.”

Tools from Ruth

Ruth Rondon, The Realities of Human Trafficking – From the Inside Out to Freedom. available on amazon.com.

Understanding the Four Stages of Recovering from Sex Trafficking

Release Shame: Guide to Comforting Victims provides a list of words and phrases that you can use with trafficking victims to release their shame and encourage them to move forward in their lives.

Build Rapport:Guide to Gaining Trustprovides a list of words and phrases you can use with trafficking victims to help them feel at ease with you and open up.

Empower: Guide to Encouraging Victims provides a list of words and phrases you can use with trafficking victims to enable them to represent their own interests and act on their own authority.

Be Selective With Words : We need to get in the habit of using the correct terminology when talking about human trafficking to avoid misleading others, show support for victims, and to help victims realize their own victimization. Here is an article that explains why.

Tips from Ruth Rondon: WIC Presentation Human Trafficking – A Survivor Success Story
May 16, 2018.

Recent Media

Because of Michigan legislation that was passed in January 2015 which allows human trafficking victims to have prostitution convictions erased, Ruth’s records were expunged on April 24, 2018. Here’s a story from TV8 WOOD TV with investigative reporter, Susan Samples.

Part 1 : Trafficked In Grand Rapids: “I knew I was a victim.”

Part 2: Trafficked In Grand Rapids: Training to spot victims

Ruth’s Sex Trafficking Story. An interview that sheds light on how Ruth fell prey to traffickers as a teen, why she stayed trapped for so long and what it took to escape and find freedom.
1. All I Knew Was Abuse
2. Become Trafficked
3. Escaping the Life
4. Prevention vs. Intervention
5. Releasing the Shame
6. The Voice that was Never Heard
7. You Can’t Hear If You Don’t Listen

For speaking engagement information with HT Survivor & Co-Author of this training, please contact Ruth Rondon directly.