At the age of 14, Holly Austin Smith ran away from home with a man she met at a mall and was forced into a sex trafficking ring. Smith will be one of the two main speakers at tomorrow’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Conference in Union City.
The conference, sponsored by New Jersey Crime Victims’ Law Center and the Hudson County Office of Victim and Witness Advocacy, will take place at the North Hudson Higher Education Center, 4800 Kennedy Blvd.
Smith’s nightmare in 1992 was short-lived. She was found after one night by police officers, who took her home. The man she ran away with served only one year in prison for the crime, Smith said.
Now 34, she advocates for stricter anti-trafficking laws and greater protection for survivors.