Southfield (CW50) – Growing up, Joyce Dixson-Haskett was used, manipulated, and abused by family members, some of which had raped her as a child. This life lead her down a path that she wasn’t proud of and her actions in her teenage years were not stories she shared until these last few years after coming to realize that she had been a victim of human trafficking.

When Joyce was a teenager, she found herself becoming involved with a man who treated her family to gifts and financial comfort. Because he treated her family well, they didn’t recognize what he was doing to their daughter. She didn’t even realize that she was being trafficked until later in her life. Joyce found herself in the hospital after receiving several brutal beating from her trafficker. She knew it was only a matter of time in her life that either a “John” would end her life or her trafficker would.

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Joyce took to the streets to purchase a firearm that could aid in her attempt to kill her trafficker. She gain possession and took it back to the house and waited. She found the right moment while they were on the couch, she stood up and shot him once. Being numb to human emotions at this stage of her abuse, Joyce found herself wondering if it was wrong of her to not be losing her mind in that moment. She packed her things and disappeared. ‘

She now looks back and thinks that if she knew she would end up with a 1st degree murder charge and conviction that would land her in prison for 17 years, she believes she wouldn’t;t have done it. However, she makes no apologies for saving her own life and possibly the lives of others. She admits her spirit weakened in prison, not being proud of what she did while incarcerated, or having to serve a life sentence and being there with no faith, no energy, no strength, and no hope.

She would appeal her case in the Michigan court of appeals, she’d win, only to have the state and federal courts overturn the appeals. Through Years of this process, she gained a reputation of being what’s known as a “Jailhouse Lawyer” and found a purpose in life by helping her fellow inmates appeal their own cases.

Joyce Dixson-Haskett, Human Trafficking Survivor, with Theresa Flores, Human Trafficking Survivor and Founder of The S.O.A.P. Project

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After finally being released from prison after 17 years, Joyce heard Theresa Flores, Founder of the S.O.A.P. Project, speak about her journey of being human trafficked at the age of 15, and Joyce thought to herself, “That’s what happened to me. I was being human trafficked.” Joyce began following Theresa and her story, and one day was at a gas station and saw these bars of soap that had the National Human Trafficking Hotline on the label and thought the idea was amazing. She joined the Michigan chapter of S.O.A.P. and began healing from her trauma, and using her story to help the lives of other young girls who have been or are currently being trafficked.

You can reach the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

Community Connect Host Jackie Paige, with Joyce Dixson-Haskett, Human Trafficking Survivor

Joyce Dixson-Haskett joins Jackie Paige on Community Connect to share her life-story of being human trafficked, and how her discovery of The S.O.A.P. Project change her life.

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