It was one year ago that Victoria Mutschler escaped from being trafficked into the sex trade in Ottawa. On Saturday, she took part in the A21 Walk for Freedom Ottawa to raise awareness about the global issue of human trafficking.

Mutschler was living in a homeless shelter in the summer of 2015 when she was targeted by two men who would become her traffickers. The 20-year-old old said she was taken to hotels around the city to perform sexual acts, and was often under the influence of drugs supplied to her.   

“For me, it was that they tricked me into thinking I was their girlfriend, and that I was working towards getting a house,” said Mutschler. “I was so naïve in thinking that, I was so vulnerable at the time.”

Mutschler said she was lead to believe she was dating one of the men, who often threatened to harm her family is she left or spoke out.

Desperate to escape, one day she jumped out a moving vehicle to get away.

“It’s been a really tough time for us,” said Stephanie Mutschler, the victim’s mother. “It’s a year ago where I got the phone call that she had jumped out of a car, a moving car, and was in trauma. And you just relive those moments, but now I think we’re starting to heal.”

According the Ottawa Police Action on Human Trafficking, there are an estimated 150 people currently being trafficked into the sex trade in Ottawa. Organizer at the A21 walk said there could be many more cases.

“The thing about the statistics is they don’t do the problem justice because you’re only able to record who comes forward,” said Simone Bell with Voice Found.

The walk aims to raise both awareness and funding for those suffering.

Mutschler, who is still recovering, said she hopes her story encourages others to leave and seek help.