ABC57 News aired the story of Devaun Chandler’s incredible story of survival and re-establishment into a normal family life with three lovely children after being trafficked by her own family. We are happy to share that ABC57 have acknowledged SWHTTF for its contribution alongside other agencies for the news investigation report aired on February 04 – 05, 2016.
Here are some excerpts from the news coverage:-
“[The survivor] Chandler told ABC57 she thought going to live with her sister would be a new beginning, but discovered just before her 14th birthday it was really just the beginning of a nightmare. This all happened in a normal house in a normal neighborhood.”
““There is a perception that ‘it’s not happening in my neighborhood,’ but we know that this is something that’s happening across the country. And it’s happening in larger cities and more rural areas. We just say, ‘if you don’t see it then you’re not looking for it,’” said Angela Aufmuth, program manager for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.”
“The number one population of sex trafficking victims in the U.S. are not foreigners, but U.S. citizens or legal permit residents.
More than 300,000 children are trafficked in the United States every year and of these, the average age is between 11 – 13 years of age, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“If anyone found out and who would want me? And that blame and that guilt which a lot of victims feel, that’s why a lot of victims don’t speak up, that’s why a lot of these cases are not reported,” said Devaun Chandler, trafficking survivor and vice president of S.O.A.P. Metro Detroit.”
“…[Some] state laws make it easy for traffickers to get away with these crimes since the penalties for dealing drugs are higher than the penalties for dealing children… [though] the federal government’s law Trafficking Victims Protection Act mandates that any commercially sexually exploited child is a trafficking victim, states like Indiana that do not adopt Safe Harbor laws, like the TVPA, criminalizes the victim.
Victims who are not even the age of consent can be charged with prostitution and sent to juvenile detention.”
“[The Youth Opportunity Center] is one of a few places in the country, and the only place in Indiana, where child victims of trafficking can get help.
Children from Michiana, who have been victims of sex trafficking, are sent to YOC to receive services.”
Devaun Chandler is one of the survivor stories of YOC. We hope to come across more survivor stories and be a part of such efforts in the fight against human trafficking and slavery.