In the year since the LA County Board Of Supervisors called special attention to child sex trafficking .. Los Angeles has become a front-runner in fighting the child sex trade.
Robin Sax was here with Jessica who was forced into prostitution as a child…and Markese Freeman of the LA Probation Department.
Jessica Midkiff is a counselor and advocate with
the Mary Magdalene Project, an advocacy
group trying to prevent sex trafficking of minors. Jessica is also a full time
student majoring in criminal justice. She teaches high risk girls how to
recognize the tactics of sex traffickers seeking to recruit new girls. "These
guys will promise to ‘love' them, that they will be a family and get married
one day. They'll say to these girls I'm your family now, I'm your father. The
girls look for these things because that's what's missing in their life now."
Markese Freeman, a Senior Detention Officer at Central
Juvenile Hall says about Jessica, "Jessica has the ability to go in a room and
talk to the girls in the way we as probation officers cannot. When she speaks
to the victims she gains their trust feels their pain, encourages them and
reminds them they have someone whom they can look up to and say there is hope
Jessica replies,"I listen. The key is to listen. I tell
them that love is not abuse love is for sale. Love is being whole hearted . I
let them know you are worth loving and I'm going to help you make better
decisions. I try to honest with them and love them like crazy."