Kidnapped & forced into prostitution, woman rebuilds life - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Kidnapped & forced into prostitution, local woman fights to rebuild life

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TOLEDO, Ohio -
An area woman was just a teenager eight years ago when she was kidnapped off the streets of Toledo and forced into prostitution.

She was featured as "Kimberly" in a 20/20 special a few years ago on human trafficking.
The ABC feature was shown on Saturday night at Westfield Franklin Park as part of Human Trafficking Awareness month.

Eight years ago, "Kimberly" and her cousin were walking to Wendy's to get Frostys when a stranger pulled up in a car. He knew their names and she mistakenly thought he was the father of one of her friends.
"He did his research." She says, "Finds girls that he likes and finds out your name and all sorts of stuff."

He offered the girls a ride, and once they were in the car, said they needed to stop by his house. When they got there, he locked the door."

"They pretty much told us what was going on." She remembers, "That we had to call him daddy and that we were going to sleep with men for money and that we were gonna live here."

She says her captors used her and her cousin, then only aged 14 and 15, against each other.

"Anytime I would say anything smart back to him or say I didn't want to do anything, he would walk right up to her and hit her. And the same thing for me."

Kimberly says the two young girls were put to work right away. "Hardly any sleep. You'd wake up at two o'clock in the morning if there was a phone call. Get dressed in very risque outfits and go do that and come back."

Kimberly was rescued after 11 days after a trucker reported seeing the young girls at a truck stop where she had been sent to work. The police came, leading to her rescue.  But her ordeal was far from over. Kimberly has struggled with flashbacks and addiction.

I know that feeling of emptiness. I'm worthless, I can't do anything or that feeling that it's hopeless. But it's not, it's not. You just got to reach out and find somebody willing to help."

She's now a married mother of two young children and she would like to help other victims of human trafficking.

But she's had setbacks in dealing with addiction and needs to find an affordable rehab to help her get back on track.

Her goal is to be a person victims can call on for help. She also wants to see harsher penalties for those involved in the sex trade. She says the women who were involved in her captivity are out of jail and that her kidnapper only got eight years and will be released from jail soon.

 
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