DENVER (CBS4)– A victim of human trafficking makes a plea to state lawmakers to do more to fight the growing crime.
“This stuff happens and I’m standing here to tell you the reality of its existence,” said victim of human trafficking Jessa Dillow-Crisp.
Crisp said she is the face of hundreds of victims of human trafficking. She was sexually abused by family as a child and said she was sold into slavery.
“That sexual abuse turned into me having to pose to pornographers then being sold to countless men on a daily basis,” said Dillow-Crisp.
There are four bills on the agenda this session dealing with human trafficking. Lawmakers passed a resolution on Thursday, vowing to do more to prosecute traffickers and provide services to victims.
Crisp’s story of survival was part of an event aimed at raising awareness of the problem in Colorado.
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, FBI and homeland security personnel are among those who gathered at the state Capitol to call on lawmakers to take action.
“The trafficking of human beings for labor or sexual exploitation has exploded,” said Coffman.
In Denver alone, experts say the commercial sex industry generates $60 million a year with the average age of victims between the ages of 14 and 17.
“Many experienced abusive or troubled families, have disabilities, come from very limited resources, are runaways or involved in juvenile justice, dependency or foster care systems,” said one advocate.
It’s an epidemic the Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force says is growing. The group rescued nearly 100 kids from human trafficking last year.
“We need you guys to raise up and be a voice,” said Dillow-Crisp.