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Human trafficking survivor tells her storySubmitted: 10/11/2018
Adriana Michelle
Adriana Michelle
Up North @4 Producer/Anchor
amichelle@wjfw.com

Human trafficking survivor tells her story
MERRILL - Morgan Leaf Meadows didn't always go by that name.

"It wasn't that I didn't love that name. It's just that the name associates a certain power to those that used that name," said Meadows.

Meadows was born Netha Edna Mason, but the change helped her escape a terrible past.

"I am a survivor of domestic violence and human trafficking," Meadows said.

Her birth mother and stepfather were responsible for the trafficking. Her mom was a substance abuser. Her stepdad was in the Navy. 


"Pornographic photography would the label for what happened to me in the beginning," said Meadows. "Being completely naked...in a room with other people, cameras, filming, and other children were present."

The photography later grew into sexual encounters that Meadows' parents, mainly her stepfather, received money for. 

The abuse didn't stop until an arranged marriage at the age of 17. Then she lived a life of domestic and sexual abuse until she broke free at 29.

"I guess you can call it a self-rescue," she said. "But someone asked me the question, 'What would help me to be happy?' and I said I need help getting away from him."

Meadows, who lives in Door County, now teams up with advocates like Sister Celine Goessl in Merrill. They want to stop human trafficking throughout the state.

"Primarily, in the state of Wisconsin, the victims and the survivors of human trafficking are our own people," said Goessl.

Goessl is proud to stand behind Meadows as she tells her story and gains support for the cause.

"Morgan is a brave person," said Goessl. "She is ready to do what she can to help humanity do what they can to help pull people in to help."

Meadows is working on presentations to teach others about the issue. She knows it's a lot of work, but she won't stop until human trafficking ends. 

"I believe that we will eradicate trafficking. And I don't mean we as survivors," said Meadows. "I mean we as community members. We are the ones capable of doing this."

Meadows spoke in Tomahawk Thursday.

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