(CNN)At the age of 12, on the way home from the movies, Melanie Thompson says she was kidnapped on the streets near her family home in New York City. She was forced into prostitution, and for more than eight years she was sold for sex on the street, online and in underground strip clubs.
New York street art shines a light on human trafficking
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"I felt like it was never going to end. I was raped all the time, I was bought all the time, people would come and do unimaginable things to me," she told CNN.
Thompson, aged 23, is now free, though she still bears the scars. She has bite marks on her neck and a scar on her arm from when a pimp attacked her with a knife.
"I may be physically out, but I still feel mentally trapped... Even to this day, I still struggle with viewing myself as a person who's worth something more than sex or money," she said.
Thompson's story is now represented in a mural on Manhattan's 25 Bridge Street, and her experience can be heard by simply scanning the image using the "Behind the Wall" phone app.