‘when I grow up, I’d like to be a doctor,’ such was Natalie’s aspirations when she was a 7th grader. But unfortunate as she was, she had no idea what dangerous trials were ahead of her for when she was introduced to the classified, advertising website called Backpage; a rumored site for its adult sections involving escorts and stripclub categories. Natalie left home at the age of 15, journeying to Seattle where she met an older girl in a youth shelter. They soon acquainted a pimp who took them to his house. It was there, where she was first introduced to the sex trade and had got raped. It was not long, when she started trusting one of her clients in her misery, who suggested her Backpage saying that it was safer and there were less chances of being caught. At first he seemed kind, but soon became physically abusive making it impossible for her to escape.
Backpage claims they voluntarily set up systems for screening suspicious ads and user flagging system. But Seatle’s police department states that regardless of the site’s unfruitful efforts, it still composed ads of many underaged sex workers. Natalie was finally rescued by the department’s vice squad through a hotel sting operation set up through her Backpage ad; the branch still continues conducting such sting operations that have become common across the country.