Documentary Focuses on Sexual/Human Trafficking - 8 News NOW

Documentary Focuses on Sexual/Human Trafficking

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LAS VEGAS -- (Every major television station in Nevada, including channel 8, will air a special 30-minute documentary tonight that sheds light on sex trafficking in this state. It's called "trafficked No More" and depicts a growing crisis that's claiming victims. The documentary will also be streamed on 8NewsNOW.com. It starts at 7:30 p.m.)

Mary Ann Swigart got lured into sex trafficking when she was 18 years old. While the victims of sex trafficking don't always want to talk about their experiences, she felt it was important to share her experience.

For Swigart, her heavily tattooed face literally tells her story.

"You look in the mirror and see big bold letters of what the situation was," she said.

The tattoos cover the left side of her face. There's even a faint outline on her forehead with the name of her former pimp.

"I can't explain into details what I went through, but it wasn't anything nice," Swigart said.

She was lured into the business in her teens by a man who promised her a career as a tattoo model and lots of money. Instead, she was forced to work on a porn site and as a prostitute.

"It's a very prevalent and it's a huge problem," said Heather Frost, WestCare Nevada.

Frost says she's seen countless women and girls. Some girls are as young as 7 when they come into her facility as victims of human and sex trafficking.

"A lot of times, families even in affluent neighborhoods, in the country and here in Vegas, will sell their children into human trafficking," Frost said.

Her staff provides trauma counseling along with drug and alcohol treatment for the victims. The goal is to keep them from returning to their old life.

"Once we can break through that fear and that control, the success is pretty good," Frost said.

Swigart is a success stories. She got clean and sober at WestCare. She is now a mother and is now working to keep other women from becoming sex trafficking victims.

"I want people to know there is hope out there," Swigart said.

For more information on trafficking and where one can get help, click here.

 

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