KEVN: Human trafficking survivor shares her story ahead of Sturgis Rally
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
CISS hosts July 4th event:
Human trafficking survivor shares her story ahead of Sturgis Rally
KEVN. by Eliana Sheriff, July 4, 2016
Watch newscast on KEVN
Windie Lazenko says, "It's very real, it's very very real."
Tammie Brock says, "Human trafficking is a huge part of the motorcycle rally that nobody wants to talk about."
So, how do you spot sex trafficking?
Windie Lazenko says, "Anytime someone is traded for any kind of sexual purpose, or labor trade for any form of power, it can be money, drugs, a safe place to stay."
And, how can we end it?
Windie Lazenko says, "A lot of people are not aware that the average age of entry into prostitution in America is 12-14 years old."
Windie Lazenko founded 4her three years ago after hearing about the human trafficking surrounding North Dakota's oil boom.
She has since mentored dozens of girls to be a resource of hope, empowerment and restoration.
Windie Lazenko says, "I was trafficked at 13 years old, so now I'm using my voice to be a powerful tool to raise awareness on the issue and the reality of sex trafficking in America."
Using her own tragic experience and knowledge to make a difference.
Windie Lazenko says, "Everyday, everyday it's still a journey."
She says connecting with victims can be hard because most girls don't know the reality of their situation.
Windie Lazenko says, "This is not a rescue mission, we can't go bust down doors and rescue girls."
Which is why she says 4her focuses on outreach.
Windie Lazenko says, "We just create awareness and gain relationships with the girls and then empower them to seek healing and then watch restoration happen."
And the dark side of the Rally lurks in the shadows of seemingly legitimate job offers, luring young women into being t-shirt or bikini girls with promising pay which never comes.
Windie Lazenko says, "Girls are thrown into campsites here, I've seen it, I've lived it. I was here as a young runaway."
Tammie Brock says, "All campgrounds should be trained on the signs of human trafficking."
So her message this year is to be aware your surroundings.
Windie Lazenko says, "Calling the police and saying I think I see prostitution might not get a patrol car there really quickly but calling and saying I think I'm seeing human trafficking I can pretty much guarantee you're going to get a quicker response from law enforcement."
Tammie Brock says, "See something, say something, that's what we need to do."
Windie made a flyer which she plans on putting throughout all the bathrooms in Sturgis to make sure girls that could be victims are reached.
Carla Marshall says, "I think it's very important to get that information to them and in a place where they are going to see it, they're not going to come to a booth or a trade show where we're going to have the information for them."
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