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Meet Jessica Banks.
Excerpt from an interview with Jessica March 2021...
redacted and scrubbed from the internet May 2021.
After her escape from the vicious foster parents who forced her into prostitution, Jessica Banks moved to Denver, Colorado, earning her living in underground poker games and training in self defense. She shares her story with readers around the world. We got the rare chance to sit down with her:
Q: Are you a detailed planner or a figure it out along the way adventurer?
Jessica Banks: I’m a take-it-as-it-comes kind of girl. I don’t make plans, or form attachments because you never know when some psycho from the past is going to come gunning for you. I mean that in the literal rather than the metaphorical sense, of course.
Q: Tell us about a big adventure. What did you do? Where did you go?
JB: There was this thing about six months ago with a cell phone and some mercenaries, and I ended up kidnapped, a couple of times actually. I’m still not ready to talk about it. Some guy wrote a book about it, and most of it is pretty accurate, although I do think he made me come off as a bit of a heartless psycho at times.
Q: In what ways did this adventure connect with you spiritually, physically, emotionally, or in terms of community?
JB: Hmm, community? Can’t get involved in that. As soon as your enemies find out you have something you care about, they'll use it against you. I even don’t form attachments if I can help it. I did end up with two friends after that thing I told you about, completely against my better instincts, but that’s life for you. Keeps throwing you curves. I’m not saying who they are or where, but now I have them to worry about, and it’s an eye opener let me tell you. Makes you think about just faking your own death and heading south.
Q: What is important for you to include in an adventure? Any fun rituals? Why are these important for you?
JB: Preparation and planning are the keys for any type of adventure, or assault, as one of my friends called it. Again, that might make me seem like a bit of a whack-job, but in my defense, I did veto the machine gun and the grenades. As far as rituals go, I try to familiarize myself with as many weapons as possible, and fit in as much live-fire practice as I can. Also, constant unarmed combat training and conditioning are a given. But fun? I’m not sure what you mean by that. Survival isn’t supposed to be fun. You either do it or you're dead.
Q: Share an adventure that was a big challenge. What helped you to push through to achieve your goal? How has this experience impacted your life?
JB: My whole life has been a challenge, and staying alive has been my only goal. From being kidnapped and trafficked at eleven, to escaping and living on my own at sixteen while being hunted by my captors. My main goal was first to be free, and then just to stay alive. The revenge thing is what’s been driving me to push ahead now. That’s what’s impacted my life more than anything. Once that’s over, who knows? Probably not a house in the burbs, but maybe a dog. Although, definitely not any sort of a doodle. Or anything with the word poo at the end. A shepherd or a rottweiler could help me sleep better. It’s easier knowing someone has your back.
Q: Is there anything I should have asked but didn’t? Tell us more!
JB: I’m glad you asked, because lockpicking, which I totally wish I’d known about before I was kidnaped the first time, is my new obsession. It’s not that hard either. You may not know this, but you can buy lockpicking tools dirt cheap online, along with practice locks, and have them shipped right to your home. Although I use a P.O. box for obvious reasons. Then, there are about a million lockpicking videos online. In a fairly short time, you can be making your own bump keys and raking your way through typical residential locksets with ease. I was surprised at how fast I picked it up. Seriously, If I’d known then what I know now, I could have escaped years earlier. But that would have made the book a lot shorter, and may have even negated the prequel altogether.
According to deliverfund.org the number of trafficking victims right here in the United States is 100,000-150,000 primarily women and girls, especially people of color, and a child is trafficked every 2.5 hours. This is a real and pressing problem that we should not ignore.
For more information about how trafficking and the commercial sex industry impacts children in the United States and what we can do to combat it, check out Rachel Lloyd's excellent book Girls Like Us.
There are also some great people and groups working to erradicate sex trafficking. One that I support wholeheartedly is Deliver Fund. These people are out there collecting evidence, targeting the traffickers, leading law enforcement to them and making a difference. Please consider adding your support to this worthy organization.