HOW TO GET HELP!
There are many places to get help for victims of human trafficking.
Call 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733). The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls and texts from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.
Central Nebraska Human Trafficking & Immigration Outreach is located in Lexington, NE. You can call Leticia Bonifas at 308-325-2295 or visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cnhtio
I've Got A Name is also an excellent resource. You can visit them at www.ivegotaname.com They also have a lot of informational videos as well as statistics on their website.
It's a crime that happens right under our noses, and time after time children are the victims.
Slavery - it's what the FBI and many of us know and call human trafficking, and it still is unfortunately a big business.
A recent demonstration in Lexington at the courthouse made people aware of the horrors of human trafficking, and for Rachel Davis it brings back memories.
"From the ages of six to sixteen I was trafficked by a neighbor and then a bunch of people that he knew," said Human Trafficking Survivor Rachel Davis.
She says it happened right next door to her parents house and they had no idea.
"There are several factors that played into it, I have several siblings there were a lot of things going on in the home, but once I told them there was a lot of guilt and self blame for them," said Davis.
She didn't tell them earlier because the neighbor selling her made threats against her family.
She says for years she had no way out until one day the neighbor stopped coming to get her, and she doesn't know why.
She considers herself one of the lucky ones.
"Nationally, the life expectancy of a trafficking victim is seven years," said Davis.
According to Davis, in Western Nebraska human trafficking victims are mostly home grown, meaning they aren't moved in and out of the state, but that's not always the case in more populated areas.
"In Omaha you are going to have a bigger selection of people to traffic. You have bigger events which means more people come in and traffic victims in and out of our state," said Davis.
The pipeline to do so, according to Davis, is the interstate system.
"I've heard from a survivor from Washington that was brought to Nebraska when she was being trafficked because our laws are so weak," said Davis.
Improving those laws is something State Senator Amanda McGill has been working on in the Legislature.
"What we are doing this year is making sure the definition of human trafficking catches all types," said Senator McGill.
That means a human trafficking victim doesn't have to be someone who is being held against their will.
It could be a single mom who is being exploited and never leaves a city or state.
McGill says she has heard many stories of survival.
"One woman would service many of her clients in their office at their place of employment," said McGill.
As these stories come to light, the hope is that one day there will be more public awareness.
"I believe in what we are fighting for there are so many people that suffer in silence, that don't have a voice we have to give them that voice," said Leticia Bonifas, The Executive Director of the Central Nebraska Human Trafficking and Immigration Outreach.
As for survivor Rachel Davis, who calls her story of survival nothing short of a miracle, she is looking toward the future.
"I'm still here I'm still moving forward in my life and nobody is going to stop me," said Davis.