BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) — The second annual Human Trafficking Conference took place today in Bowling Green. Victims and advocates came together to speak on survival, change, and shared their stories on what being in the darkness of human trafficking is like. Many survivors have become advocates, and they have their own foundations and houses to help women escape who face the same devastating fate. During the conference, women and men who have not been through trafficking came and listened, in hopes they could take part in ending an epidemic that takes thousands of lives each year. Survivors shared their emotional stories with 13 News.
“I was beat on, pistol whipped, urined on, drug through feces,” Summer Dickerson, founder of Women of the Well and survivor tells us. She speaks to us so change can happen in the community.
“I talk because the more I’m quiet, the change of it being your child next.”
Advocate and survivor Christine McDonald also shared her story with 13 News. Her journey started when human trafficking was not even a word.
“For years, I thought my only hope was death,” she says. “There is no way I could incapsulate what it was like to bought, sold, and tortured on a daily basis.” McDonald has also committed her life as an author to help those victims in need.
“It shouldn’t have been this hard for me to find help.”
Both tell 13 News that human trafficking can happen anywhere.
“Everybody thinks it doesn’t happen in Bowling Green, but I have women here getting help.”
More than anything, advocates want to see change and involvement from the community.
“As long as we are watching pornography, which is basically trafficking on camera, we are not going to end it,” McDonald said.
For more information on how to get involved here in Bowling Green, you can go to the Rising Phoenix website.