According to Georgia Cares, 90 percent of children who are victims or vulnerable to sex traficking have experienced sexual abuse.
“I’ve seen cases where kids as early as six or seven being trafficked. So, there’s the buyers out there and there’s a market for it. We’re not punishing them enough for it. It’s amazing. We’ll confiscate houses and cars of those who sell drugs, but we won’t do the same for those who buy children,” Kevin McNeil said.
Executive director of Micah’s Promise Bobbi Starr invited keynote speaker Kevin McNeil. McNeil says after working in law enforcement and serving in the military, he wanted to stop hiding behind uniforms and start telling his story.
“At the age of 12, I was coming home from a friends house and I took a shortcut because I was missing curfew and I didn’t want to make my mom upset. I was abducted by a grown man who dragged me under the set of the bleachers and sexually assaulted me and raped me. Once he was done he got on top of me and tried to murder me and kill me.”
McNeil says he fought off the predator. When he made it home, he lied to his mother and said he was robbed. Mcneil works now as an advocate for victims with his organization the Twelve Step Project. Gwenetta Echols from the Chattahoochee county school district says that her biggest take away from McNeil’s lecture is that this issue can’t be solved without working together.
“It takes a village it does to this work and if we all come together to do this work it can be dissolved,” Echols said.
Micah’s Promise is working to address this issue with a theraupeutic center for girls between the ages of 12-17 who have been victims of sex trafficking.
Starr says they are $500,000 away from their goal for building the center. Some of the services it will provide are therapy, physical health instruction, and mentorship.
Click here to learn more about Micah’s promise and to donate.