Bringing Human Trafficking Fight to New Jersey Hotels

Theresa Flores is a warrior against human trafficking as well as a survivor of it. Flores, blackmailed and coerced into prostitution as a teenager by a male acquaintance, was picked up for a job that turned into a nightmare. At age 16, she was beaten, drugged and brought to a seedy hotel in inner-city Detroit filled with more than 20 men.

“I was stripped and put up on a table and auctioned off, over and over again, until I passed out,” Flores said. When she woke up, Flores said that “a little angel nudged me to get out of there.” Clad only in pajamas, with no shoes, identification, money or any idea where she was, she stumbled into a 24-hour diner. A kind waitress called the police.

Flores, 48, is now acting as the “angel” for other victims of human trafficking, and brought her non-profit, Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (SOAP), to North Jersey in advance of the Super Bowl. Volunteers visited about 250 area hotels to drop off information and posters about missing children and human trafficking, as well as thousands of bars of soap.

Those soap bars have wrappers with the phone number of the National Human Trafficking hotline, and carry a message aimed at young women trapped into prostitution: “Are you being forced to do anything you do not want to do?”

SOAP and other human rights groups, anticipate that many young women — some of them victims of trafficking — will be brought to North Jersey to sexually service the many visitors who will be in the area for the big game at MetLife Stadium.

Learn more at Linda Moss’s article: Volunteers Bring Human Trafficking Fight to North Jersey Hotels.


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