Bricktown Rally Seeks To End Human Trafficking

Sunday, September 11th 2011, 1:19 am
By: News 9

Jamie Oberg, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Human trafficking happening in Oklahoma.  It's more common than you might think.

Oklahomans Against Human Trafficking, or O.A.T.H., broke through chains Saturday at a rally in Bricktown where one victim of sex trafficking from Oklahoma spoke out for the millions she says are being forced into child prostitution in the United States everyday.

"I went from playing with Barbies to fighting for my life," said Jeannetta Taylor.  She stands strong and smiles now, but she said she wasn't always so open about what happened to her when she was just 12 years old.

"I went months being forced to have sex with multiple men over and over and over," she said.

Taylor said she was the victim of sexual abuse by one of her relatives.  Before that, she was a straight A student, a cheerleader and just an average Oklahoma girl.

She told no one and ran away from her problems only to find more by being forced to become a child prostitute for years.

"It turned into this vicious cycle of drugs, alcohol and prostitution," she said.

OATH organizers say it's happens here in Oklahoma everyday and lawmakers have passed laws targeting human traffickers, but still, survivors say, some people have no idea or choose to ignore the problem.

"People say this is the Bible belt, but we've got to stop being afraid to talk about this," Taylor said.

That's why she and other child sex trafficking survivors share their stories, hoping to speak for the millions of children in the United States who are being used as slaves and sold into sex trafficking and stop the chain of silence and fear.

"This means the chains have been broken and we're no longer held captive," Taylor said.

It's estimated that 1 million children in the U.S. are involved in sex trafficking.

In August of 2009, law enforcement officers busted the largest sex trafficking ring in the Southwest. It was operating from Houston to cities in Oklahoma. A Tulsa man was charged for trafficking women and children.