Connecting Women to Change the World

Episode 050

Bought By The Hour Podcast – Jill Jones

Episode Summary

***CONTENT AND LANGUAGE WARNING*** This episode discusses human sex trafficking.

Hey Change Maker!

My guest this week is Jill Jones, host of the Bought By The Hour Podcast. Bought By The Hour is Jill’s story of survival. She wants to use her experience to help other survivors as well as prevent future victims.


We begin the episode by introducing Jill Jones and learning about her background. Jill is a human trafficking survivor who spent three and a half years in a hostage situation. Jill first met her trafficker, who she calls “Jack”, online. The two dated online for a few months until Jill went to meet Jack in-person in New York. When she arrived in New York to meet the man who was supposed to be her boyfriend, her situation completely changed. Jack held her in a basement against her will, which evolved into over three years of emotional manipulation, physical abuse, and forced prostitution. The turning point for Jill came after she was hospitalized for a kidney stone and Jack continued to physically abuse her and force her prostitution. With the money Jack gave her for food, Jill took a train and left the city to start her life over. Now, she’s trying to use her story to help others who are, or could be, in situations like hers who may not know the signs to look out for.

Jill and I then discuss some of the tactics predators use to target victims. Jill relays that the number one thing predators look for is people who are vulnerable and desperate. When she first met Jack, she was living in a homeless shelter with her child. As soon as Jack found out she was in a desperate situation, he preyed on that and began to manipulate her. Jill also comments on how technology has changed the way that criminals operate today. She describes how the internet makes almost everybody vulnerable, and she pleads for people to be very guarded with what they share with others. Predators often look to exploit insecurities about physical beauty. Jill relays how trapped she felt – Jack would threaten both her and her family with physical violence if she refused his demands. His knowledge of her vulnerabilities made it nearly impossible for her to escape her situation.

After that, we move on to talk about Jill’s experience with the police. During the 3.5 years she was held hostage, Jill had a very traumatic relationship with the police. As a sex worker in New York, the police were some of her biggest customers. Officers would threaten to put her in jail or take her money if she didn’t have sex with them. She relays a story of how on her first day being trafficked, a police car pulled up and she thought she was going to be saved. However, the policeman only further encouraged her forced prostitution. Jill has survived many traumatic experiences involving men using their power to verbally, emotionally, physically, and/or sexually assault her. During the time she spent in jail, she was continuously raped, beaten, and abused. In every state that she traveled to, there was a law enforcement officer that used his power to abuse her. Jill relays that there is a lot of education that needs to happen surrounding police brutality. She encourages listeners to ask “why” when they don’t understand or disagree with another person’s perspective.

We then shift gears to discuss Jill’s life since escaping her trafficking. When she first got out, Jill was aided by the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which helped her get to a safehouse immediately. She recalls waking up the first day after escaping and now knowing what to do with herself. Jill blamed herself for a lot of what happened during those 3.5 years, and it was extremely difficult to get back to living a normal life. One of the most difficult parts of transitioning back to normal life was accepting now being paid $9/hour, when she would previously make over $1,000 a day being trafficked. Her sense of worth and value as a person has been greatly skewed as a result of her trafficking. To Jill, just being out of her trafficking situation is a challenge. While she is getting better at trusting herself, she experiences severe PTSD and finds it difficult to make decisions for herself. She discusses how with Jack, she at least had food, shelter, and some level of protection. In the real world, none of those things are guaranteed – this fact alone made it very hard for Jill to not want to return to her trafficker.

Jill and I also talk about how sometimes well-meaning people can keep us from truly moving forward. Jill remarks that it’s been difficult to watch the physical reactions from people when they hear the word “prostitute”. She talks about how one of her friends, who was attempting to help Jill, focused on promoting her podcast so much that every time they saw each other, all her friend could talk about was Jill’s trafficking experience. Jill doesn’t mind talking about her experience in the right setting, but she doesn’t want it to define her. She always tries to use the word “survivor” rather than “victim” when she is describing herself. Jill makes a point to say that she was victimized, but now she is a survivor and so much more than her trafficking experience.

As we near the end of the episode, we discuss Jill’s Bought By The Hour podcast. She originally started the podcast as a way to heal and talk openly about her trafficking experience. The medium of a podcast appeals to Jill because she can tell her story without having to be physically seen by her audience, nor witness their physical reactions. The podcast gives her confidence that there are things beyond her physical beauty that are valuable and desired. When asked who inspires her, Jill first recalls some of the women she’s met in safehouses that were further along in their journeys than she was. She also talks about a good friend of hers, another trafficking survivor, who started a business focused on teaching law enforcement surrounding trafficking. Her ultimate goal is to emulate the women she sees out in society making a difference. Jill and I also discuss how listeners can partner with her to save the world. Jill encourages listeners to educate themselves, promote education for others, donate or raise money, get involved with local nonprofits, and simply treat prostitutes like normal people. There are trafficked women in all 50 states; to Jill, there is nothing listeners can do that is too small to help. Listeners are encouraged to add her on Facebook, follow the podcast on Facebook, or visit www.anchor.fm/boughtbythehour to find her podcast on their streaming platform of choice.


Connect with Jill & Bought By The Hour Podcast

Website: https://anchor.fm/boughtbythehour
Facebook: www.facebook.com/boughtbythehour

Key Timestamps

2:04 – 8:12
Introduction to Jill Jones.

8:13 – 18:14
What are some tactics of predators? What should we be on the lookout for, both for ourselves and for the women and girls in our lives?

18:15 – 29:46
Can you talk about your experience with the police?

29:47 – 42:53
Let’s talk about your life since getting out. What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced, and how have you overcome, or are you overcoming, them?

42:54 – 48:57
Can you talk about how sometimes well-meaning people can keep you from truly moving forward? How do you define yourself, and how would you like others to see you?

48:58 – 56:54
Tell us about the Bought By The Hour podcast: what made you want to start it, and what do you want to accomplish?

56:55 – 1:06:08
Who inspires you and why? How can listeners partner with you to change the world? Where can listeners find you online?

Thanks for listening to The Constellation Coalition Podcast!

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