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2006 (Narrative date)

Sex trafficking is a form of modern slavery that exists throughout the United States. Traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary, many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces them into prostitution. Others are lured with false promises of a job, and some are forced to sell sex by members of their own families. Victims of sex trafficking include both foreign nationals and US citizens, with women making up the majority of those trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. In 2015, the most reported venues/industries for sex trafficking included commercial-front brothels, hotel/motel-based trafficking, online advertisements with unknown locations, residential brothels, and street-based sex trafficking.

One evening Debbie got a call from a friend, Bianca, who asked to stop by Debbie's house. Wearing pyjamas, Debbie went outside to meet Bianca, who drove up in a Cadillac with two older men, Mark and Matthew. After a few minutes of visiting, Bianca said they were going to leave. Debbie said her captors drove her around the streets of Phoenix for hours. Exhausted and confused, she was finally taken to an apartment 25 miles from her home. She said one of her captors put a gun to her head

So I went and I started to go give her a hug And that's when she pushed me in the car.

She tied up my hands first, and then she put the tape over my mouth. And she put tape over my eyes. While she was putting tape on me, Matthew told me if I screamed or acted stupid, he'd shoot me. So I just stayed quiet.

He goes, 'If I was to shoot you right now, where would you want to be shot -- in your head, in your back or in your chest? And then I hear him start messing with his gun. And he counted to three and then he pulled the trigger. And then I was still alive. I opened my eyes, and I just saw him laughing.

"And then that's when I heard them say there was a middle-aged guy in the living room that wanted to take advantage of a 15-year-old girl, And then he goes, 'Bend her over. I want to see what I'm working with.' And that's when he started to rape me. And I see more guys, four other guys had come into the room. And they all had a turn. It was really scary.

They were asking me if I was hungry. I told them no. That's when they put a dog biscuit in my mouth, trying to get me to eat it.

I ended up in the dog kennel.

I had no other choice. I didn't know them, But most of them were married, with kids. And every single one of them, I asked them why they were coming to me if they had a wife at home. ... They didn't have an answer. So, like, I felt so nasty.

[Debbie did not try to escape as the pimps told her they would go after her family]

After they told me that, I didn't care what happened to me as long as my family stayed alive, And that's pretty much what I had in my head. Staying there to keep my family alive.

[Police had previously searched the apartment Debbie was being kept in but she had been tied up and put into a drawer under the bed]

I didn’t know what to say; I was just lying under the bed, stiff as a board, shaking. And then he opens the middle drawer and I was like ‘Oh my God!’.

I was so relieved. And then that’s when my… I was standing there, and my knees started… they gave out.

I was so happy. I was so happy to see my mom. I was so happy to be home. I’m able to be with my family. I don’t know – it’s crazy.


Courtesy of ABC News