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Human trafficking survivors marked with branding irons have opened up about being bought and sold for sex at major sporting events. Summer Dickerson is a human trafficking survivor. The main street is often deserted and even in the poorest, crime-riddled suburbs, residents who sit on their front porches wave and smile at those who walk past.
On the surface, not much else happens in Louisville. They come from all over the country and beyond with many Australians making the trip to the other side of the globe especially to be a part of it. But even those with general admission tickets for the infield come cashed up and ready for a good time. The Kentucky Derby is believed to be the second most popular major event for human trafficking in the country, after the Super Bowl.
Trafficking survivors who spoke to news. Several of the women said their traffickers marked them as their property, with branding irons or tattoos in a bid to assert their control, before sending them out on jobs to meet nightly quotas. They also return. No questions asked. This year was no different with four men arrested on human trafficking-related charges amid a Kentucky Derby Day police sting in Louisville last weekend.
Officers also identified 13 trafficking victims and underage girls before putting them in contact with advocates. Women of the Well Ministry is a non profit organisation for trafficking survivors. Founder Summer Dickerson, 40, told news. Summer Dickerson. Picture: Megan Palin Source:Supplied.
While under the control of a trafficker, Ms Dickerson said she was brought from Chicago to Louisville to work during the Derby on several occasions. About , flocked to Louisville, Kentucky for the annual derby. About , people were living in trafficking situations in the US last year, according to the Global Slavery Index.
But the data is incomplete because cases are severely under-reported. Of the 5, human trafficking cases reported in through the National Human Trafficking Hotline, not one US state was excluded. According to Department of Justice statistics from , about a quarter of victims are white, a quarter Hispanic and 40 per cent African-American. Summer Dickerson is happily married with children since becoming a sex trafficking survivor. Summer Dickerson now runs a safe haven for women escaping sex trafficking. Ms Dickerson was just years-old when she was targeted by the first of several traffickers who would go on to make her life a living hell for many years.
She was working as a stripper when she unwittingly crossed paths with the man who groomed her into a relationship by professing his love and promising her a better life. Before she knew it, she was trapped in a vicious cycle of extreme physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Ms Dickerson said that on another occasion her best friend, who was also trafficked, was murdered by a buyer.
Summer Dickerson told news. The two-storey home was donated to her by a pastor and has since been converted into a safe haven where women escaping trafficking or domestic violence can come to recover. Up to eight women, aged between , live in the house at one time and each stay an average of about two years. I understand what keeps them stuck. These people are dealing with so much judgment and so much hatred.
But staying stuck is not an option. And society does that as well. One of three shared bedrooms in 'Esther's House'. The facility is privately funded and relies largely on donations. According to Ms Dickerson, her work in the field of advocacy has only just begun.
Now they're in hotel rooms being tortured. Human trafficking involves third-party control and is defined as a commercial sex act induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age, according to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of US President Donald Trump has ly claimed that his proposed wall at the Southern border would have a flow-on effect of ending human trafficking.
Speaking at the summit, founder and chief executive of Developmental and Forensic paediatrics, Dr Sharon Cooper said vulnerable children were major targets for traffickers. After the derby, a year-old local woman driving an Uber inquired as to what brought news. It was explained we were there to report on human trafficking. To the conversation, please Log in. Don't have an ? up.
the conversation, you are commenting as Logout. In the know quiz Premium membership Best of shopping Log in up. Log out. Megan Palin in Louisville, Kentucky. Each week, Australian women face the threat of abuse, murder and domestic violence Each week, Australian women face the threat of abuse, murder and domestic violence. Comments Show comments. Add your comment to this story To the conversation, please Log in.
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