Sex Trafficking Victim to Speak Oct 19

8 Oct

By Barb Slade

 

Theresa doesn’t simply tell a story, she lived a nightmare and has survived to share her terrifying tale to millions as she is determined to abolish child slavery and exploitation.  At the age of 15 Theresa was tricked by a classmate  she had developed a crush on into accompanying him to his home, once there she was drugged, raped and the sexual  acts photographed.  The popular, trusted boy proceeded to begin a torturous, terrifying ordeal of what resulted in more than 18 months of blackmail, rape, exploitation and sexual servitude. Theresa was told if she didn’t do everything she was instructed to do that her family would be hurt, they would show the disgusting photographs to her parents, her fathers employer,  her teachers, even her priest.  To ensure her silence and cooperation they went so far as to leave dead animals on her porch as a reminder of the consequences.  Theresa began receiving nightly calls that demanded she leave the security of her home immediately and meet them, once in their car she would be driven to undisclosed locations where strange men would perform disgusting and violent acts to her body. 

Theresa’s story is one so unimaginable and terrifying that most tend to close their eyes feeling it could never happen in America.  The most frightening of all is that statistics show that in excess of 325,000 children are subjected to sexual exploitation every year.  The average age of entry into the commercial sex industry is 11 to 12 years old.  Theresa was a youth in Detroit, Michigan, not some third world country but right here in our own back yards. 

Theresa has been traveling all over the world to raise awareness of human trafficking, sharing her horrendous story with as many individuals or groups that are willing to listen.  Ms. Flores is a Human Trafficking Survivor, Author, Victim’s Advocate, Founder of S.O.A.P (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution).  Her story has been seen on The Today Show, MSNBC: “The Teen Trade”, The 700 Club, CNN/HLN, Glenn Beck’s “For the Record” as well as many local and national radio shows.  Her national rescue mission S.O.A.P. has been featured on Dateline, Nightline, and America’s Most Wanted   Human Trafficking is a growing threat to our youth, educating them as to the dangers of falling victim to these predators is the only way to stop them in their tracks. 

Hear more of Theresa Flores’s story October 19 at 1:00 PM at The First United Methodist Church of Griffith, 400 44th Place, Griffith, Indiana. Robin Reid from Indiana Protection for Abused & Trafficked Humans (IPATH) will speak at the forum, followed by nationally recognized Theresa Flores.

Write it on your calendars, invite your families, your friends, coworkers, teachers, but whatever you do this is one event you won’t want to miss.

Contributed by: Barbara Slade / First United Methodist Church of Griffith

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2 Responses to “Sex Trafficking Victim to Speak Oct 19”

  1. Barb Slade via Facebook October 8, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    Dr Watkins has agreed to pass out 4500 flyers to Hammond students ad the school system joins the battle against Human Trafficking!!!

  2. JeannePete October 9, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    WOW! God Bless her soul for reaching out and sharing her story. As a victim of sexual assault by a predator, my father, for many years of my childhood until I reached adulthood and moved out, I know how horrendous the feeling of being constantly threatened with the punishment to other loved ones for not following through and being raped is. I commend Theresa for Surviving! as many who’ve gone through so much turmoil have had PTSD and turned to drugs to cope. Thank you Theresa for reaching out to our youth and speaking up about this subject. I know when I spoke to family and friends many times years ago (being in my mid 50’s now) I was told to sweep it under the rug, forget about it and let it go. I was then the black sheep of the family and the one “disowned” for being a troublemaker. To this day we still have no communication. Even now, people when I speak up about it, (being my age) they feel it’s uncomfortable. However, coming from younger generations, it seems a good thing to bring it up and let youth know that it’s happening. It doesn’t matter to me these days where it comes from when it is brought up. The important thing IS to bring it up, so that it can be brought to a halt! The violence against our younger generations has to stop, and these precious youth being sexually molested at such tender ages.. infants even.. are more than life should bear. I think too many children have been molested and it’s warped their minds to where they have no conscience about doing it to others, no matter the age. We live in a world of violent times with a respect for life that is almost nil at times. Give these kids a chance to hear things that will open their eyes and maybe make them listen while they still have the opportunity to think about becoming responsible citizens as they grow up. Also, make them aware of what’s happening so they can look out there and know what to do so if something happens to them, they know who to turn to, so it comes to and end, so these vile people who assault them can be caught and be stopped in their tracks. Again.. thank you Theresa. From one Survivor to another.. God Bless you!

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