Former sex trafficking victim urges others to 'avoid the trap' - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Former sex trafficking victim urges others to 'avoid the trap'

(WXTX) -

Police say it's happening around the world and even in Columbus. 

Sex trafficking is a $32 billion industry; in fact, some call it an epidemic. The UN Office of Drugs and Crime also says it’s even bigger than Google and McDonald's. 

According to statistics, 1.2 million children are sold as sex slaves in the US every year. 

Those who fall prey to modern day slavery on average are girls between 12 to 14 years old, according to a study by UNICEF.

"When I realized that money could be made, I just started walking the streets and men would pick me up and it just became my life style," says former sex trafficking victim Dorsey Jones.

Dorsey is now a mother, wife and advocate for young girls. She says she was just 11 years old when she began selling her body for money during the 1980s.

"My neighbor knew that there was a need in my house,” Dorsey said. “We didn't always have lights, we didn't always have food. I remember him coming to the gate and crumbling up $20 in my hand."

That $20 was the beginning of a dark path for Dorsey in the small town of Bainbridge, GA, about 30 miles north of Columbus.

Two weeks later the neighbor returned to Dorsey's poverty-stricken home where she lived with her mother, stepfather and siblings.

Her mother was always gone, she says, working to clean the "well-to-do folks' homes” in the community. Dorsey says that neighbor taught her how to walk to his home through the woods straight to his bedroom.

"And that's where the abuse would take place,” Dorsey recalls. “He first started fondling me and then he would have sex with me and then he passed me to his brother and to his father."

Like so many other women and young girls, the desire to fill a need is what drove Dorsey into the arms of sexual predators.

"When you're in a 911 situation and you don't have food to eat, no clean clothes, I was introduced to that and I gravitated to that," Dorsey said.

Dorsey's clientele grew from the neighbor and his family to a laundry list of men in the community.

"You had white collar, blue collar workers, school teachers, you had ministers and men who grew up with my mother taking advantage of me," Dorsey said.

Dorsey says she walked the streets and men would pick up her. Most took her into the woods to have sex for $20 or $30 a pop.

"So when I turned 12 years old, I had slept with about 250 men," Dorsey said.

Today, walking the streets to turn tricks is no more. The big business of sex solicitation starts online.

Ads for sexual services can be readily found on sites like Facebook After Dark, BackPage and Craigslist.

"We had people who've had up to 30 Johns or pimps people who they have had to have sex with in one day up to 30,” says Lt. Joyce Dent-Fitzpatrick with the Columbus Police Department’s Sex Crimes Division.

The Columbus Police Department is working to solve its first sex trafficking case.

Deangelo Walker, 24, is accused of running a sex ring along with two women out of Walker's Gleason Avenue home in east Columbus.

We were there when police raided Walker's home last December. They took bags of evidence from inside.
 
Police found out about that case when a 21-year-old woman was found hiding in the bathroom at the Walmart on Airport Thruway. She told an off duty police officer she and a 16-year-old girl from Clayton, GA were forced into prostitution.

That case is still pending, so police can't talk much about it.

"Most of the time the girls are not from this area,” Lt. Dent-Fitzpatrick said. “They're being brought here, transported here and they stay in a house."

Dorsey found a way out by leaving Bainbridge after high school to attend Job Corp in Atlanta. Then she got the urge to attend college. After being denied six times for bad grades, Dorsey was finally accepted at Morris Brown College on her seventh try. 

A former probation officer with a degree in juvenile justice, Dorsey travels the state now with a message of hope and restoration for women and girls trapped in the sex trade industry.

"Letting them know they are valuable and that what happened to me is not going to happen to them and if is happening to them there are resources available to assist them in their crisis," Dorsey said.

Here's how you can help: Dorsey says if you see a child in lack, fill the need so they don't have to look to the wrong people for help.  

If you know someone who needs rescuing call 1-888-8GA-CHILD.

Dorsey quit her job as a probation officer to start a crusade to help save young girls and women trough the Atlanta Public School and United Way.

She also does public speaking and is currently working on a documentary.

You can contact her by emailing dorseyjones95@me.com or visiting www.stretchedbeyondmeasure.com.  

Copyright WXTX 2016. All rights reserved.

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