A human sex trafficking survivor tells her story to FOX44 News, saying it is not just women from other countries being brought to the U.S., but young women right here at home.
Sthephanie Welch was 19 years old when drugs and homelessness in Las Vegas threw her into the sex trafficking world. She is now a wife, mother and successful business owner.
“If you would’ve told me back then this would’ve been mine, I would’ve been like, ‘Okay,'” Welch says.
But she can’t help but to reflect on the worst period of her life.
“[I] Was just young and naive. I felt like if I had stayed in that position, just one more minute longer, I would be dead,” Welch says.
She was just 19 when the friends she thought she had fueled her drug addiction and pulled her into sex trafficking in Las Vegas.
“People like that look for [an] easy target. They look for people that are vulnerable. I was young and I was attractive, and so they had probably just saw that and thought, ‘We are going to target her’, because it was just the easiest thing to do,” Welch says.
She says she continued for the next month or so, living on the streets and being trafficked through the Vegas party circuit.
“You lose yourself. Every time you do it again, you will lose a piece of yourself. So the people that had that hold on me, they kind of let me go,” Welch says.
She says as hard as it is to tell her story, she hopes it will help other women gain the courage to stand up.
“But I just feel like, it’s important for someone like me to share their story. Because women need hope,” Welch says.
Ten percent of all sales from her online store Black Daisy Boutique (https://theblackdaisy.com/)
will go to Jesus Said Love – a local organization helping sex industry victims.
Governor Greg Abbott’s new Public Safety Plan announced on Tuesday will also help in the efforts to curb human trafficking and make tougher laws against traffickers.