Stories of human trafficking
Women and children being bought and sold against their will for sex, domestic work and hard labor. Human trafficking continues to plague Southwest Florida, in fact Florida is a known hub for the activity. Video by fox4now.comvideo
Women and children being bought and sold against their will for sex, domestic work and hard labor.
Human trafficking continues to plague Southwest Florida, in fact Florida is a known hub for the activity.
And now, some brave women are coming forward, with their personal stories of sexual violence.
Rachel Monaco-Wilcox is a lawyer and assistant professor at Mount Mary College. It's her mission to bring more attention to the human trafficking issue in Milwaukee.
"They get fed what the traffickers want to feed them and they're never allowed any freedom," Wilcox explains.
And most of the time, those victims are sold for sex. In extreme case, forced to service dozens of men a day. Wilcox adds, "The younger the girl, the higher the price."
The local headlines are out there: Pimp to plead guilty to federal sex trafficking charges; Teen possibly involved in human trafficking.
But many people still think it's something that doesn't happen here, and that trafficking is solely an international problem.
La'Ketta Caldwell knows sexual violence firsthand. Her mother was a victim. Now she works with kids at the Boys & Girls Club. "Almost every session I have with a young person, someone shares that 'I've been sexually assaulted, and they've lost their voice.'"
She adds, "A lot of the people who go through it, they feel like it's their fault, and it's not their fault."
The more stories told means the better the chances of being able to prosecute these human traffickers in the future.
Both the Lee and Collier County Sheriff's Offices have been very active in fighting human trafficking.
But they can't do it without you. Don't be afraid to go to them for help or to report anything suspicious.
Collier County Task Force
Collier County Sheriff’s Office
Charlie Frost, Chair
Marisol Schloendorn, Co-Chair
Collier County Coalition Against Human Trafficking
Kerri Hixson, Chair
Lee County Human Trafficking Task Force
and Lee County Human Trafficking
Dr. Johnny McGaha, Co-Chair
Mary Lewis, Co-Chair
Detective Mike Zalesky