Category: Survivors

Reflection Ministries prepares to open village for human trafficking victims

Reflection Ministries of Texas is set to open “The Village” – a set of homes that will house victims of human trafficking – at the beginning of next year. Lisa Bownds, founder of Reflection Ministries, said they have several acres of land with five cottages. Four of the cottages will be used for housing and the last cottage will be a multi-purpose building used for counseling, therapeutic services and training classes.

Read More

Trafficking victims can clear arrest records, but it isn’t easy

Florida law that passed in 2013 allows victims of human trafficking to clear records of arrests that resulted, but process can be slow and complicated. The Justice Restoration Center in Dunedin, FL, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping trafficking victims erase criminal records. Executive director Brent Woody said Florida has the best such law in the nation, and his organization has worked with more than 200 victims.

Read More

Bombshell $10M suit claims two NYC hotels turned a blind eye to sex trafficking

The trafficker would always pay for the rooms in cash and when he didn’t have money for rooms at the Econo Lodge in N.Y.C., NY, he allowed hotel staff to rape the 10-year-old girl “in lieu of his payment for the rooms,” the papers show. There was even a bowl of free condoms displayed at the front desk that the victim would use when they ran out, the suit states.

Read More

Kansas Made This Sex Trafficking Survivor A Criminal — She Wants Another Chance

Hope Joy Zeferjohn, a Topeka, KS native, became a victim of the commercial sex trade while in state custody, ran away, and was sent to prison for aggravated human trafficking. Despite federal and state laws that bar prosecuting children for prostitution, Zeferjohn is serving a nearly six-year sentence in the Topeka Correctional Facility and will spend a lifetime on the state sex offender registry.

Read More

Sex trafficking victim sues Houston hotels

A young woman out of Houston, Texas, was 15 years old when she was lured by sex traffickers. She’s suing three Houston hotels who at the time, in 2016 and 2017 when the allegations occurred, operated as Candlewood Suites, Clarion Inn and Suites – Westchase and Red Roof Inn. The young woman also claims she was even solicited by the guy working the front desk at the Clarion.

Read More

Human trafficking survivor shares her story to create awareness about modern-day slavery

Maria Perez of San Antonio, TX was 25 when she fell victim to human trafficking. Perez said the man she was dating at the time suddenly changed and one night he kidnapped her—throwing her in the trunk of a car and driving across the border into Mexico. Perez is now a community activist, sharing her story and making it her mission to alert the community about the dangers that lurk around every corner in San Antonio and Texas.

Read More

Dozens rescued, 37 arrested during undercover human trafficking bust: HCSO

Led by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Houston, TX, the six-night operation began on July 29 and used undercover officers to rescue those being held against their will and connect them with resources to escape their abusers. The operation ended Aug. 3, when officers made contact with human trafficking victims and their traffickers. The victims were detained and taken to a fire department where a team of social service providers were waiting to help.

Read More

Pomona Police Rescue 3rd Teenage Human Trafficking Victim in 2 Weeks

Pomona, CA police working to combat human trafficking and prostitution in their city rescued the third teenage human trafficking victim in the past two weeks on Friday. “Upon further investigation, officers discovered that the female was actually a 17-year-old minor who had been the victim of human trafficking since the age of 15 years old,” the Pomona Police Department said in a written statement.

Read More

The Essence of Evil: Sex with Children Has Become Big Business in America

“Children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day.”—John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Children, young girls—some as young as 9 years old—are being bought and sold for sex in America. The average age for a young woman being sold for sex is now 13 years old. Holly Austin Smith was abducted when she was 14 years old, raped, and then forced to prostitute herself. Her pimp, when brought to trial, was only made to serve a year in prison.

Read More

‘Change the men’, say U.S. fighters against sex trafficking

In St. Paul, Minnesota (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Schools where trafficking survivors teach men who buy illegal sex to “feel my pain” are growing and succeeding as a way to cut U.S. demand experts say. In a typical “john school”, police, therapists, lawyers and survivors tell first-time offenders about the health and legal risks of buying sex and the impact on women who sell their bodies – which many believe is key to ending sex trafficking.

Read More

Advocate shares her story of sex trafficking survival

Sula Skiles is an advocate for sex trafficking survivors. She serves on the board of the The Trinidi Initiative, an extension of Lavished Ministries. As a survivor herself, she is using her story as a platform to help others.
“When I was 20, this was 15 years ago, I was a young, naive model in Los Angeles, went to just an event for the modeling industry,” Skiles said. One Skiles was overseas, she said what once was a dream come try turned out to be a nightmare. “Once I got there, I was forced to sleep with this monster along with other girls. They would come and go. Every night, there were new girls showing up,” she said.

Read More

Florida Sex Trafficking Bust Sheds Light On Victims’ Needs

When authorities busted what they say is a multimillion-dollar human-trafficking and prostitution ring in Jupiter last month, law enforcement spoke out against the horrors endured by women taken as literal sex slaves. The trafficking, they said, was not a “victimless crime.” But nearly two weeks later, the majority of the victims remain behind bars as law enforcement seeks their cooperation in the case.

Read More

Sex trafficking victims need community support

A major sign of sexual abuse is a change in behavior, said Jean. Children may no longer want to participate in physical education out of the fear of getting undressed in front of others. They may also start to exhibit low self-esteem, poor peer relationships or eating habits. Some victims tend to wear extra layers of clothes regardless of the weather. They may also revert to infantile behavior such as bed wetting, thumb sucking and excessive crying.

Read More

Sex trafficking victim sues Albuquerque motel

A woman who says she was sold for sex as a teenager is suing an Albuquerque motel and the now-closed Backpage website, alleging both businesses had a hand in allowing her to be trafficked. “The evidence is pretty strong (for) that hotel knowing what was going on due to the frequency of the visitors to the room,” McAdams said

Read More

Survivors call attention to tattoos used in sex trafficking

Sex trafficking survivors and advocates are working across Wisconsin to help communities recognize signs of exploitation, such as tattoos used to brand victims. Nancy Yarbrough is a survivor who started Milwaukee nonprofit Fresh Start Learning, Inc. to provide resources to women and children who are victims of sex trafficking. Yarbrough told Wisconsin Public Radio that tattoos are commonly used in the sex trade to show that a person belongs to a specific trafficker.

Read More

Human-trafficking survivor raises awareness for ‘Light Up the Night’ event

Hope Green a human-trafficking survivor says, “there was never really a time when I did not get trafficked, as early as my earliest memory. Hope is one of the guest speakers this Saturday at the “Light Up the Night” event presented by Pasco County, FL. Sheriffs Dept. at Trinity College of Florida. Ticket are free.
Click “read more” for her story and more details on the event.

Read More

Human trafficking survivor shares how she fell victim after Tinder date

When she was 19 she was planning to join the Air Force and moved to California, where she met someone on Tinder and eventually agreed to move in with him. Before she moved in he took her out to a nice dinner, placed her purse with her phone, keys and wallet on his chair and asked her how she was going to pay for what he was providing. “He said ‘OK now you’re going to be a stripper and an escort’ and the only thing I could say was ‘OK,’” Skirvin said. “One of the reasons human trafficking has escalated exponentially is that there is so much reward and there’s very little risk … there is very little chance they’ll get caught, and if they do a lot of times they’re not getting prosecuted,” Reyes said.

Read More

Slavery in the shadows: Survivor tells her painful story for Human Trafficking Awareness Month

A modeling gig set up by her boyfriend was the first night Sara was sexually assaulted. What followed was about six months of drug-hazed sexual servitude. The man she thought was her boyfriend became her trafficker. Sara was trafficked for sex from the Naples area to Miami, Tampa and Orlando in 2012. She was 21 at the time. “You don’t have to be broken,” she said. “It’s not the same recovery road for everyone. Not everyone will feel how I feel. Not everyone will surpass trauma the same way. It’s about how bad you want out.”

Read More

Sex trafficking in SC: ‘Housing first’ model is key for 1st safe home for women

A small, spiral-bound notebook stays with a Greenville woman wherever she goes. For the past month, she’s been filling up the pages, growing her “thankful list.” She’s thankful to be alive. Thankful for a second chance. Thankful for a roof over her head. Thankful for a hot shower. It’s a new season of life for the 34-year-old since leaving a lifestyle of prostitution and drug abuse that began at a young age. The woman is one of five embarking on a two-year recovery program in Greenville that pulls survivors out of human sex trafficking, an industry that’s become a hidden epidemic across the U.S. and in South Carolina, particularly in the Upstate where Interstate 85 connects Atlanta to Charlotte, two of the nation’s trafficking hotbeds.

Read More

Human trafficking victim escapes captors on Thanksgiving Day in Murfreesboro

A Murfreesboro woman who was part of a human trafficking case managed to escape her captors Thanksgiving Day. The woman escaped her perpetrators by jumping out of a bathroom window in Murfreesboro and running to the Thornton’s on Old Fort Boulevard where she called her mother and then police. The 29-year old victim told police she had been sold, traded and swapped for money and drugs in the Bradyville and Readyville areas of Rutherford County, as well as Grundy County, and in Kentucky. According to a police report, the victim said she was given the drug ketamine, which induces a trance-like state, to make her sleep at night. Her captors also forced her to use cocaine during the day, she reported.

Read More

Trafficking survivor helps put formerly incarcerated on path to higher education

“Many of our clients have been charged with crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers, or that their traffickers committed,” said San Diego attorney Jamie Quient, who started Free to Thrive last year. “They rarely speak up at the time for many reasons. Among them, they would rather serve time than cross their traffickers. They also don’t think they will be believed if they do speak up. As a result, society labels these victims as criminals.”

Read More

Sisters file lawsuits in USA Gymnastics sex-abuse scandal

Former Olympic gymnast Tasha Schwikert, left, answers questions from the media as she is joined by sister, Jordan, who was also a member of the national team, during a news conference Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, in Los Angeles. The two have sued USA Gymnastics for allegedly enabling and failing to prevent sexual abuse by the team’s former doctor, Larry Nassar. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Read More

Task Force Operation in Everett Recovers 13 Victims of Sex Trafficking in Washington State

On Friday, October 19, 2018, an FBI Seattle Division Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF), along with additional local partners, conducted an operation in the Everett, WA, area to recover juvenile victims of sex trafficking and identify subjects suspected of commercially exploiting children and/or adults, and other related crimes. The CETF contacted 11 adult females and two juvenile females being exploited through prostitution.

Read More

28 local human trafficking victims come forward so far in 2018

The Center, located in Evansville, is a safe haven for domestic and sexually abused victims spanning 11 counties in the region. Albion’s Community Engagement Director, Mallorie Cloum, tells us in 2016, the center served five individuals involved in trafficking. In 2017, the number was from 15 to 17, according to Cloum. So far in 2018, the number of victims who have come forward has climbed to 28

Read More

Safe Harbour Putnam County Presents Human Trafficking in America

At the age of eight, Jen Spry was trafficked by her neighbor. No one knew it was happening. No one ever intervened. “No one ever came looking for me,” says Spry, “because I never went missing. People need to realize that many young girls are trafficked while still living in their own homes, just like I was. You don’t have to run away or be abducted to be trafficked.”

Read More

PREVIOUS Council gets update on driving speeds downtown According to police department data, the majority of drivers… NEXT UP Minatare firefighters respond to garage fire MINATARE — Minatare firefighters responded to a blaze at a r… Four hundred people trained on human trafficking during symposium

More than 400 people attended the symposium, hosted by the Panhandle Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, to learn about human trafficking, signs of human trafficking and its victims. “This crime thrives in plain view,” Anna Brewer, a former FBI agent and investigator with the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, said.

Read More

Sex trafficking derailed their lives, but a survivor puts women back on track

Susan Munsey’s mission to help victims of sex trafficking in the US is a personal one. When she was 15, growing up in Los Angeles, Munsey started dating a man she thought was the real deal. “I’d never had a boyfriend before. He gave me compliments. He was charming. He took me out to eat,” she recalled. “I was insecure and didn’t have a lot of self-esteem. … And here I had this 24-year-old boyfriend. Wasn’t I something special?” Then he started abusing her. He forced her to sell her body. Months later, she was arrested for prostitution.

Read More

Sex trafficking victim estimates she’s been raped 43,000 times

“People everywhere purchase sex, and there’s money everywhere,” she explained. Being sold, some days, up to 30 times in 24 hours, throughout her life, McCarty believes she’s been raped at least 43,000 times. “It could be a low estimate,” said McCarty. “I would think it would be a low estimate of the number of times I’ve been paid to be raped.”

Read More
Loading

Filter By State

Recent News

Archive