Each year, 300,000 Americans are lured into sex trafficking. Casey Coleman was almost one of those girls. Today, she’s a counseling student at Asbury Seminary and plans to work with women in crisis and recovery centers to teach them to live loved.
“My heart for people, specifically women, is for them to develop a holistic view of love and a good theology of sex,” she said. “I want to help them understand how loved they are by their creator and experience what it looks like to live loved.”
Until the ninth grade, Casey lived to make others laugh. She didn’t care what it took. When she turned 14, guys started noticing her for the first time. She started seeing herself through their eyes. Her first dating relationship as a sophomore twisted her view of love to lust.
“It was the first guy who ever wanted me,” Casey said. “I just threw myself into this relationship.”
After breaking up, Casey dated her best friend. In her mind, he was Mr. Right, the one she’d waited for years to meet. His rejection left her searching for acceptance, self-worth and affirmation. Her high school boyfriend offered all three, but the price was higher than she realized.
“I was his personal porn site,” she said. “That was how I felt secure and wanted.”
Casey started looking up strip clubs. She reasoned that if she could make money doing what she did for free, why not? She never worked in a strip club and credits God’s prevenient grace.
“With the decisions that were in front of me, with the age I was and the culture I grew up in, I could have picked up the phone and life could look completely different,” she said.