The kidnapping of a child doesn’t always start with someone grabbing that child from the street or a playground. For a 12-year-old runaway girl the simple offer of a ride to an unknown destination was enough for her to surrender her freedom and become a commodity to one, and then to many.
This story, my story, would be part of my past, if it were not repeating itself over and over, minute by minute. I tell my story because I am not a statistic; I am human. Victims of sex trafficking are human, too. They laugh, cry, breath and dream, just like we all do.
Having been sold for sex, raped and traded for crack cocaine, I eventually found my way out. On my journey through graduate school, more than 15 years later, I thought I had buried this story. But instead I found myself compelled to speak, to share, and to inspire others to do the same. I wrote Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets to share my story because there is no such thing as a “child prostitute.”
Learn more at Carissa Phelps’ Recordnet.com article: Stand against human trafficking.
After graduating from UCLA with a joint MBA and law degree, Phelps authored Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets. In 2012, she founded Runaway Girl to create employment opportunities and organize survivors of all forms of human trafficking around resources, networks, businesses and local efforts to protect and care for survivors and victims within their own communities.