• Sex-trafficking survivor uses her story to help others

    By: Bridgette Matter , Action News Jax

    Updated:

     At the See the Girl Summit, a group of female sex-trafficking survivors talked about their experiences and life after getting out. 

    The women explained their struggles to find work, housing and the misconceptions that come with being a survivor. 

    STORY: Florida has 3rd-highest number of human trafficking cases prosecuted in federal court

    Chanel Toleston, a mother of four was trafficked for two years, in multiple states. Toleston said she tried getting out over and over again, but it wasn’t easy.  

    “The trafficker that I had, had men surrounding us, he called them his goons.”

    After a daring escape, Chanel made it onto a Greyhound bus desperate to leave, but the manipulation continued when she got a threatening text message from her john.

    STORY: Human trafficking bill puts spotlight on Florida’s hospitality industry

    “I was frightened, I felt like there was no way out.” But she made it out, years later she’s using her story to help others.

    She now works to empower others in her position at the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center as a mentor for others struggling after getting out.

    "Provide hope and new life into them and just hope there is life after this. That is what I am most excited about in life.”

    STORY: Jacksonville human trafficking victims increased 50 percent in 2017

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