• The OATH To Expose Modern Day Slavery

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    None - Every 30 seconds in the United States a child is reported missing. The Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports 300,000 kids are recruited in to the sex industry, every year.

    So Oklahomans Against the Trafficking of Humans (O.A.T.H.) is hosting "Oklahoma Impact" Conference for social, health workers and church members and law enforcement on how to identify trafficking victims, reporting, helping and how to get justice for those sexually exploited.

    FOX23's Abbie Alford reports on modern day slavery in Oklahoma.

    The first time Joy Friedman was raped was age 15, she is now 48.

    "Held captive for 24 hours and I had cigarette butts put out on me, I was raped repeatedly, I was stabbed in the side, I had a Champaign bottle cracked over my head and I happened to run when they put me in a car," says Friedman.

    The pimp and his gang followed her and found her the next day.

    "For the next 26 years I was trapped in it from one person to another," says Friedman.

    She didn't want live a life forced into the sex industry.

    "I have had gasoline poured on top of me. I've beaten with 2x4's, a metal pipe for 20 minutes, baseball bats, metal balls, 15 dudes surrounding me," she says. "We don't choose this life. There is nothing glamorous about it. You are violated on a regular basis by strangers."

    Even when she was cuffed for prostitution, no one could hear her voice, see her pain and she says she was treated like a criminal.

    "There is a code of ethics when you grow up in the streets that you don't tell the police cause then you are a snitch," says Friedman.

    The average age for a child trafficked in the United States is age 12. Oklahoma sits in the middle of the most profitable cities for human trafficking, making it easy for the predators to quickly move victims in and out of the state.

    "We've dealt with the drug trafficking and issues like that but not human trafficking," says West Siloam Springs Assistant Police Chief Randall Jackson.

    So those who may make initial contact with potential victims are learning how to identify sex slaves, how to report and intervene.

    "Open your eyes to it to see what is happening and realize that it is happening to be able to see it when it comes through," says Jackson.

    So victims like Friedman can be trafficking survivors.

    "I am not a prostitute. My name is Joy, I am a woman I am a mother and grandmother," says Friedman.

    A national initiative started right here in Oklahoma, Truckers Against Trafficking to help stop modern day slavery.

    Chapter 61 Ministries started the campaign to help young girls who are forced to prostitute themselves at truck stops.

    They're working with truck drivers giving them wallet cards with information about what to look for and a hotline to report suspected abuse and also a training video for trucking schools.

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