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  • Tags: 1990 (Enslavement period)
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Trafficked into sex slavery in 1988 at the age of 14, from her hometown of Chicago, Tina Frundt is one of many survivors who become activists after liberation. Calling herself “a voice among the many who have been unheard,” she explained in an interview that “once people are aware of this issue, they can write letters to Congress, find out what areas have a trafficking problem, and take notice when they’re coming home from a club or are out late.” As a Street Outreach Coordinator for the Trafficking Intervention Program at Polaris Project, an organization that provides services to trafficking victims, she told Congress in 2005 that “sex trafficking of U.S. citizens is a reality in every city in the United States, including right here in our nation’s Capitol. Tina added: “if we are judging the efforts of other countries to combat trafficking, we certainly must aggressively fight the trafficking of our own citizens.” Tina decided to tell her story because, as she noted in an interview, “testimony sheds light on a problem that has been going on for so long in the US. Yes, it’s going on in other countries as well, but we also need to focus on what’s been going on here in the US for years.” She knows, as she explained to Congress, that “when we see a woman on the street here in the US, we think, ‘why is she doing it? This must be her choice. She can walk away any time she wants. She can leave.’ There is less sympathy for the domestic victims.” But like foreign national victims, Tina noted, domestic victims are also moved away from their homes. “They can’t go back because they don’t know where they are or they are ashamed to tell their families of what has happened to them… How can you ask help from the police when they have done nothing but arrest you, not recognizing you are a victim of sex trafficking?”