Human Traffic Watch

Expand human trafficking law, Iowa victim says

In Child Sex Trafficking, Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on February 2, 2013 at 8:56 am

A Story City woman today will urge Iowa lawmakers to expand a state law on human trafficking by providing job skills and other services to victims and requiring training on the issue for law enforcement officers, attorneys and officials in the judicial branch.

Since 2011, Brittany Phillips, 21, has been telling Iowans about how she fell into a net of predators who forced her into prostitution. She was 15 at the time.

“I saw some things that I didn’t think I’d ever see,” Phillips said. …

“The biggest thing AMP wants to accomplish is we just want to make people aware of the needs of kids in foster care,” said Ruth Buckels, statewide coordinator for the advocacy group. “The foster kids feel like nobody cares.”

Phillips is among those who will share their stories. Phillips was 7 when her father died. For the next several years, she was physically and sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend, Phillips said.

“I wonder sometimes what it would’ve been like if my dad never died,” Phillips said. “I feel like none of this would’ve happened if he was still alive. I don’t blame it on him. He can’t help that he died.”

Phillips said she was removed from her mother’s home when she was 13 and sent to a treatment facility in Iowa City for counseling. When Phillips was 15, she ran away from the facility and went to Cedar Rapids. One day, a man approached her and asked if she wanted a modeling job. Phillips, who was starving and broke, accepted the offer.

Source: Des Moines Register

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