Watch the newscast here: 10/11 News
And it’s a problem that needs to be addressed now.
This is the story of a now 19-year-old girl from Lincoln.
“When I was 14, it was the first time I was sold. My boyfriend’s dad was getting 150-200 bucks for us both, he was pimping out me and his son.”
In the audio recording, she goes on to tell her story, “The one time I tried to leave, I was beaten and thrown through a glass table. I was choked with a belt and I was beaten until I couldn’t move. I couldn’t bend over for two weeks because my back was so bruised.”
The girl says she ended up living in a “Trap House”–which she described as nothing more than a bed, a couch, a stripper pole and a price chart for how much everything cost. The only time she or others could leave is with a guy.
She says, “This is Lincoln, Nebraska. Yes, it happens here in your hometown.”
This story, unfortunately is a story all too familiar to Atlanta native Katrina Owens.
Owens told 10/11, “I was lured into sex trafficking by a young, very charismatic guy. And once I entered, I was moved to New York City.”
This happened when she was 16 and lasted until she finally got out at 19. An outreach coordinator helped her finally see the light–because she said if she didn’t she would’ve ended up at Rikers Island in New York.
Katrina shared her story of survival in Lincoln over the last two days–speaking at schools during the day and sharing her story at Lincoln Berean Church Tuesday night. Her message to raise awareness about a problem many think isn’t happening here.
Owens said, “Every presentation, at least one or two people walked up and told me a story, whether it was personal, whether it was someone else they know in Lincoln. It was over, and over and over again, because I was even surprised.”
Bob Burton adds, “[The girls have] gotten into a relationship where a boyfriend has pimped them out. We have stories of girls who because of no financial means they engage in what’s called survival sex, couch surfing.”
Burton founded the organization “I’ve Got a Name” in Lincoln. Now he hopes the community will step up and help stop this from happening.
“The issue that we have now is that girls need somebody that they can trust, and it’s just obvious that when you talk to girls that we did the interviews with, they need somebody they can trust, and the first step is an outreach coordinator.”
He said the outreach coordinator would be on the streets trying to gain girls trust and eventually get them out of sex trafficking and into a more stable, healthy lifestyle.
But Burton said they can’t do that until they have enough money to hire this person. That’s where they need the community’s help for donations.
If you’d like to help donate or find out more information click HERE to learn more about sex trafficking in Lincoln and I’ve Got a Name.