A horrific reality: children and teens, most often girls, sold for sex. Victims are speaking out and warning Montanans to wake up because it could be happening in our community.
“Slavery is still alive and there’s 300,000 American children who are sold every year into what we call modern day slavery, human trafficking,” Melissa Woodward, a victim of sex trafficking, said.
Melissa started a non-profit called For The Sake Of One where she works to rescue girls and teens who are trafficked. She says she knows it’s happening in Montana, especially with the recent Bakken Oil boom in eastern Montana and North Dakota. “You know Montana’s smaller and more rural, a pimp can bring girls up here and the money and with the law enforcement being behind, it’s a really good fit,” Melissa said.
After less than a year, another victim, Ashley, was rescued by a male friend, but the experience of being trafficked will affect her for the rest of her life. “I still see guys not as people. I see them as abusers and people who are going to hurt me. I kind of still feel the guys all over me. I can like, feel them touching me and sometimes, I’m just like, get off, you know, I have to say that to myself. I’m not a prostitute, I’m a kid whose been trafficked,” she added.
Learn more at Lindsey Gordon’s KXLF News article: Raising awareness of sex trafficking in Montana.