North Carolina is one of the top 10 worst states for sex trafficking and Wilmington is one of the key cities because of its tourism industry and access to highways.
“It’s hard to believe that modern day slavery exists here in the US and it does and then more importantly that it exists here in Wilmington and it’s happening everyday,” said MaLisa, co-founder of the Centre of Redemption. “Here in Wilmington we see a lot of pimp control trafficking where a girl will meet a guy and he befriends her either maybe on facebook or maybe in a mall and then kind of starts dating her and they kind of have this relationship and it will turn into ‘I love you so much if you love me, will you do this’,” said MaLisa.
The Centre of Redemption plans on opening a safe house for survivors. “Focuses on long-term individual care for domestic minor survivors of sex trafficking who are pregnant and wish to keep their baby or set up an adoption plan,” said MaLisa. “The safe house won’t take any local survivors, we don’t want to house a girl in the area who was trafficked for security purposes. For the local survivors we’re able to provide clothing, food, money, the immediate needs of the first 72 hours.”
Almost 300,000 people are forced into the sex trade every year. Majority of them are girls between the ages of 12 and 14. Once a girl goes into the system, their average life expectancy drops to 7 years, with the first cause of death being murder and second, AIDS,” said MaLisa.
Learn more at Sanah Sayani’s WECT News article: Sex trafficking on the rise in Wilmington.