Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Latest from!!! has been all over college campuses in the past couple of weeks. Dave and Kristy Spring, Mercy's Volunteer Directors of Student Relations, held Freedom Forums with students at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and Tennessee State University to increase awareness and inspire young leaders to get involved in the fight against sex trafficking. Once these college students learned about the horrific epidemic of sex trafficking right here in the U.S., they were ready to take action and join our initiative! We look forward to spreading our vision to college campuses across the country!
UTC student showing off his EST t-shirt!
Every day, we hear more and more stories of young women who have been victims of domestic sex trafficking. Check out this recent article about a survivor in Ohio, the state that ranks fifth in the U.S. for sex trafficking:

Survivor educates youth on trafficking
By MaryAnn Kromer - The Advertiser-Tribune

Theresa Flores thought she did not fit the stereotype of a teen prostitute. She had two parents who did not abuse her. She did not spend time in foster care, never ran away and never used drugs. Yet, she found herself the victim of human trafficking at 15.

Now, she is a social worker, author and speaker who shares her firsthand experiences with others in hopes of alerting them to the dangers of this crime.

With its extensive highways, rail and ship traffic, Ohio is a transit, destination and source state, Flores said. She said Ohio has more truck stops than any other state and the most universities and colleges.

Two thirds of the victims are "groomed" by an older person and tricked into sexual servitude against their will, she said.

Such was the case with Flores. Her father's job required the family to move every two years. They were living in an upscale suburb of Detroit when her nightmare began. At her high school, she developed a crush on a well-dressed young man, but her parents wouldn't let her date anyone. One day before track practice, Flores returned to get something from her locker to find this boy waiting there and offering her a ride home after practice.

She accepted.


Conference Call
Call in and find out more about what Mercy Ministries is doing to help victims of sex trafficking on our free 30-minute conference call on Thursday, May 19 at 12:00 PM EST. In the U.S. and Canada, call toll free 1-866-642-1665. To RSVP for the conference call, email

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