Jeannetta McCrary, 41, told Oklahoma lawmakers how she, at the age of 11, went from being a straight-A cheerleader from a middle-class family to a life of sexual exploitation and prostitution as a victim of child trafficking in the 1980s.
“When I stood up in the third grade and said what I wanted to be, it wasn’t this,” McCrary told members of the Oklahoma House Public Safety Committee. “I lost my chance to be anything I wanted to be.”
“Many times we see these victims of human trafficking and prostitution as adults, but what the general public often doesn’t realize is that now the average age of recruitment is between 12 and 14,” state Representative Pam Peterson said. “Our vulnerable teens, from whatever situation they find themselves in, can become victims of human trafficking and not find a way to get out of it.”
A law passed by the Legislature earlier this year created a new, seven-agent unit within the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs dedicated to investigating human trafficking. Oklahoma City Police Department’s vice enforcement unit participated in a nationwide child sex trafficking investigation with federal authorities this summer in which nearly 10 percent of the juveniles recovered across the nation were in Oklahoma City.
Learn more at Sean Murphy’s San Francisco Chronicle article: Okla. woman shares human trafficking story.