NEW BERN, Craven County - Human trafficking -- It's a problem, especially in North Carolina, but one local organization is trying to combat it.
NewsChannel 12's Aduare Achumba recently caught up with a woman who is a human trafficking survivor. She is now on a path of healing thanks to local organization Anna's House.
"I got addicted to meth and I wound up homeless," Nina said. "When that happened I didn't know where to go."
Nina (not her real name) told Achumba in an interview about her story as a former sex slave. The story starts with Nina's battle with her drug addiction. Soon after, she got a job offer from a stranger.
"He was looking for a personal care assistant," she said. "He told me that I could live with him and I'll get paid to clean his house and go grocery shopping."
Things took a different turn.
"He would have these sex parties, which I wasn't involved with, and when he had these parties his dealers would smoke meth in my room," Nina said. "They talked to him about how they were more interested in me and he made a deal with them that involved me and it went down pretty fast."
A recent FBI sting rescued three minors and put 11 people in jail for human trafficking in North Carolina. According to the U.S. State Department, nearly 80,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year.
Of the victims, 80 percent are female. Half of them are children. Among states, North Carolina ranks in the top 10 for human trafficking activity.
"The porn industry is fueling human trafficking," said Traci Klein of True Justice International. "Look at it this way -- you can sell a bag of marijuana one time but how many times can you sell a boy or a girl?"
True Justice International in New Bern helps run Anna's House. It's a safe house for trafficking victims and it's where Nina found help.
"We offer complete shelter therapeutic resources and life's skills training," Klein said. "Once they get through the stabilization and the healing we help unpack the trauma they have been through."
Shelter at Anna's House is completely free. Victims trafficked locally aren't housed there for safety reasons.
Anna's House is part of a nationwide effort to help bring safety to the victims of human trafficking. If you are, or know anyone who could be a victim, you are encouraged to call True Justice International to get help.
You can also help Anna's House by making donations. It costs $60 per day to house a resident.
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