February 12, 2013
Sacramento, California - How many times have we trusted someone because they were “a friend of a friend?” How many times have we accepted a friend request on Facebook just because that person was friends with one of our friends? Although it may seem harmless to add these people because they are friends with our friends, in actuality this person may not be harmless at all and could in fact be a trafficker looking to prey on naive, young girls.
In the case of a young seventeen year old girl, she trusted someone who was a mutual friend of her friends and, as a result, was unknowingly forced into human trafficking.
"This trafficker who abducted the girl was able to use his status as a “friend of a friend” to get the young girl into his car in a suburb located near Sacramento, California."
Once the girl was inside, he pulled a gun out and told her that if she tried to escape, he would kill both her and her family. The trafficker then raped the young girl, took her to a hotel, and then began soliciting her on a well known website.
The young girl was forced to engage in sex with strangers who had responded to the ads on the website. After having sold the girl to multiple strangers, the trafficker then drove her to Fremont where she was sold to two violent traffickers. Several days later, the FBI located the girl in a motel in Fremont, where it was found that the girl had been drugged and deprived of food for days. The girl’s trafficker was arrested, charged, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
The young girl spoke candidly of the situation, saying that not knowing if she would be able to survive through the day was something that plagued her mind incessantly. At the time when the abduction took place, both mother and daughter were unaware of the situation of human trafficking. However, with more and more girls going missing, it is becoming incredibly important that we educate our children on the dangers and deception tactics used by traffickers.
With human trafficking on the rise, many people have joined together to help put an end to trafficking. One of these organizations is the Bay Area Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition. The Bay Area Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition, located in California, is doing all that they can to stop the spread of human trafficking. Since their development, they have worked with 50 other nonprofits to form the largest human trafficking conference in the United States. The executive director of the Bay Area Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition says that there have been several instances in which they have found victims locked behind doors with bars barricading the windows so that victims have no way of escaping.
"The director goes on to say that a large percentage of victims who are trafficked are foster youths who run away, and as a result they disappear and are never heard from again."
These horrific realities are something that plague both mother and daughter daily. Their worst fear is that other young girls will suffer the same fate. As a result, they are on the front lines trying to help others protect themselves against being trafficked, saying that even something as little as letting your child walk a couple blocks home from school could be all a trafficker needs to abduct the young child.
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