If you see a woman with a crown tattoo, there's a good chance that she may be a victim of sex trafficking.
Adriana, who is now 17, became a victim of sex trafficking after running away from home at the age of 13. She reportedly attended a party down the street from her house and was impressed when a man introduced her to some girls who she described as "beautiful."
"I thought they were awesome," Adriana recalled. "I thought they were beautiful. I loved their bright clothes. I loved everything about it."
Soon she was part of the subterranean world of sex slavery, and she has the mark to prove it. Across Adriana's chest is tattoo that says "Cream" -- the name of one of her traffickers.
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"This right here, I call it my war wound," she told CNN. "I got it when I was 14 years old, and he was one of my pimps."
She admitted that at first she saw the tattoo as a badge of honor.
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"I was proud to have it," Adriana said. "It says I'm for you. I will never leave you. If I mark up my body for you, risk my life for you. I'll do anything for you."
Child advocate Lois Lee explained that Adriana's perception is not uncommon among victims of sex trafficking, who oftentimes simply want to belong to someone or something.
"They see it differently," Lee said of the tattoos. "They belong to somebody. It's important to them. Someone has claimed me. Now I belong to a group."
The inking takes a variety of forms: moneybags, bar codes, initials, "F*** you, pay me," to name a few. While the practice is not new, authorities say it is becoming more widespread.
"The first time I became aware of this was probably five years ago," LAPD Capt. Lillian Carranza said. "It's just another way to control [the girls], and let other pimps know that, 'Hey, this individual belongs to me.'"
Adriana has had four different pimps and has seen and experienced more in the last four years than most people will in a lifetime.
"Whether it's a gun to your head, a knife to your belly, whether it's you being raped or robbed or whatever it is. ... Eventually you get used to it," she said.
And while she has since managed to escape the life and start over again, Adriana said she will never completely be free of her past.
"I don't think you can ever leave the life because it is a mental thing. It stays with you," she explained.
But she stressed that for those who don't physically get out, a terrible fate looms.
"If you stay in the life, that's it for you," she said. "Either you are going to commit suicide. You're gonna be strung out on drugs or you are gonna be dead. Someone is going to kill you."
And Adriana confessed that the strength and courage she exudes is to some degree a facade -- her way of coping with the painful reality of her situation.
"You have no idea how I am breaking inside," she said. "Every time I pull a piece off, I put a piece back together and another piece of me falls off."
The National Human Trafficking Hotline has received reports of more than 22,000 sex trafficking cases in the U.S. since 2007, according to the Polaris Project. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are roughly 4.5 million people being exploited as sex slaves around the world.