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Human Trafficking Is Closer to Home than You Think: A Neighbor Shares Her Story

Theresa Flores will share an eye-opening story about how she was kidnapped from her Birmingham home and forced into sex slavery.

Theresa Flores, a native of Birmingham, will speak at a Common Ground program in Bloomfield Hills about human trafficking. (Photo submitted)
Theresa Flores, a native of Birmingham, will speak at a Common Ground program in Bloomfield Hills about human trafficking. (Photo submitted)

If you don’t think human trafficking happens in your zip code, think again.  

Common Ground is participating in a task force to raise awareness of human trafficking and co-sponsoring a women’s networking event,

“Chained – A Program on Human Trafficking,” which features a presentation by special guest Theresa Flores, a human trafficking survivor, best-selling author and victim’s advocate.

The event takes place from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at the Village Club of Bloomfield Hills, 190 East Long Lake Road.

A portion of the $90 ticket price will be donated to Common Ground’s Victim’s Assistance Program, which provides 24-hour access to counselors and advocates for victims of crime, domestic and sexual abuse and workplace violence.  

To purchase tickets, call (248) 451-3736 or visitwww.commongroundhelps.org .

Flores, who was a teenager from Birmingham when she was kidnapped, will share her amazing story of trafficking and being a sex slave.  

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Flores will offer a compelling look at a billion dollar industry that forces thousands around the world and right here in Oakland County into activities against their will.

“Every day, the horror of Human Trafficking is perpetrated by profit seeking predators who exploit children, women and  men for sex and labor services.  Increasingly, traffickers conduct their illicit operations in Michigan,” said Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Here are some facts about human trafficking that may surprise you:

  • Human trafficking is not a choice.  A person cannot consent to become enslaved.  Victims want to escape, but cannot. Sex trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery.

  • Forty percent of human trafficking cases involve the sexual exploitation of a child

  • Between 100,000 and 300,000 children (average age 11-14) are at risk for sexual exploitation in the U.S.

  • It is estimated that 76 percent of transactions for sex with underage girls start on the internet.

  • Traffickers use psychological as well as physical coercion and bondage.

  • Victims suffer from traumatic bonding – a form of coercive control in which the perpetrator instills fear in the victim as well as gratitude for being allowed to live.

  • The number of “safe shelters” for recovered victims of human trafficking in southest Michigan:  None

The entire community is encouraged to learn more about this issue and help bring to light the truth about this $32 billion global industry, by attending “Chained – A Program on Human Trafficking.”

“Human traffickers take advantage of technology to remain anonymous and keep their victims hidden in the shadows,” said Schuette.  “Our daughters, friends and neighbors are forced into prostitution, domestic servitude and other forced labor by traffickers who take advantage of them.”

Event sponsors include Art Van Furniture, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Auburn Hills, Devonshire Counseling PLLC and The Oakland Press. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Common Ground at (248) 451-3736 or send an email to Give@CGHelps.org.

Tell Us:

  • Do you think there’s a human trafficking problem in your area? What can be done to curb it?

mspence219 June 05, 2014 at 12:50 PM
I notice that none of the stats focus on boys. do any boys caught into slavery?

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