Jun 24, 2014 9:08 PM by Lupita Murillo
TUCSON- Sold No More, a group hoping to abolish sex trafficking is doing its best to raise awareness in Tucson. This comes on the heels of the FBI's sting that rescued almost 170 children, and arrested nearly 300 people Monday during a nationwide sweep.
Tuesday, 300 incoming freshman at University High School sat through orientation and learned about sex trafficking and internet safety.
One of the presenters, Liz Kimbel is a survivor of sex slavery. She said she was rescued by the FBI 10 years ago in Washington D.C. She was 14-years-old and had 2 pimps. She was involved in sex trafficking for nine months.
"A lot of the time I was scared. There were times that I would roll out of a moving car because I felt like this would be the end of my life if didn't. There were times when I was beaten by the pimp who then would turn around and hug me and tell me he loved me," Kimbel said. "There were times I was raped by a John I had to get up and brush it off and turn 2 more to make up for the money loss."
The most vulnerable age for exploitation is anywhere from 12 to 17 years old. The predators are looking online according to Megan Goodman, Program Manager for "Sold No More."
The internet is the number one place where pimps and predators go to find teens," Godman said. "It's safer for them, easier for them."
Sold No More is making it difficult for the pimps and predators by bringing awareness to the students and teaching them exactly why they should be careful about their online activity.
Predators can learn a lot within 45 minutes, Goodman added. "Who they are, what their real name is where they go to school, where they live, what they like to do, what they want, what they don't want and use that to exploit them."
Liz Kimbel believes that standing up and sharing her story brings reality to the problem.
"I think that is a shock value and that stops them and makes their ears open," Kimbel said.
It appears to work, as one 13-year-old girl at the UHS orienteation told News 4 Tucson that she never knew about sex trafficking until the presentation.
"Very scary knowing that people my age especially my age especially in Tucson are being sold," the teen said.
"Also frightening, what pimps and predators can find out through social media," a 14-year-old boy told News 4 Tucson. "You have to watch out what you post on Facebook because there are people out there who will try to attack you."
Sold No More says that it's important to educate kids about the dangers of sex trafficking, but urges that parents also play an important role by keeping their kids safe online.
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