July 24, 2013
CLEVELAND -- Sadly, high-profile cases in our community are proof that young girls and women are being preyed upon.
Ohio is a major pipeline for human trafficking, taking young, lost girls and turning them into sex slaves.
"I was just 16," says "Rachel," a trafficking victim who finally escaped.
The average age is now 12 for entry into this dark world of human trafficking. It's happening in our cities, suburbs and schools.
Pimps can spot young girls who are vulnerable and want to feel loved.
"You can have kids trafficked and going to school everyday," says Renee Jones, who helps save victims of trafficking. She runs the Renee Jones Empowerment Center.
"Street outreach is very important," Jones says. "We need these women to know someone cares."
So, twice a month, Renee and her team go out and look for women who may need help. They give them bags with personal care items and the center's phone number.
"I would have done anything he wanted," says "Rachel."
She believed her pimp loved her and then he started peddling her at bars, truckstops and then in New York City. It took 10 years but she escaped.
Renee Jones is helping "Rachel" get her life back together, but it is a long process.
"It makes it all worthwhile, when you are able to help someone,"says Jones.
For a list of resources to help victims and to combat human slavery here in Ohio, click here.
Contact the Renee Jones Empowerment Center atwww.rjecempower.org
Watch video here