Human trafficking is one of the world's fastest growing industries, where billions of dollars are made at the expense of innocent people. The U.S. has one of the highest rates of trafficked people. Many are children, ruthlessly exploited in the country’s
Washington DC is among the places with the highest number of trafficked people.
According to experts, an estimated 300,000 children in America are at risk of human traffickers.
Tina Frundt was once a part of this statistic. At the age of 14 She left home with what she thought was the man of her dreams. She had no idea what she was getting herself into.
“I didn’t know what a pimp he was. He didn’t come up to me and say, ’this is what you are going to do’. It was more of a domestic violence situation. You tell them too much information that they use against you,” Tina says.
Soon after, Ms Frundt realised that this man would force her into selling herself sexually.
“I was raped, forced to do that and I thought it was my fault. He told me, after all the stuff that he did for me, all the things he bought for me, how could I betray him like that?” Tina recalls.
But going from victim to survivor was never easy.
“I basically begged police to take me to a jail and ended up as a juvenile. I was there for a year. But no one really believed me, no one really cared,” Tina says.
Not having law enforcement on your side made things all the more difficult.
“So then I realised basically everything everyone told me – police would never believe me, pimping was legal, nothing would ever happen to him. That’s exactly what happened – nothing ever happened to him.”
So what does one do to escape when even the police cannot do anything?
The FAIR fund, an anti-human trafficking group in Washington DC, is not relying on anyone but the few people who work there and their partners at local schools and juvenile detentions.
The group mostly deals with 14 and 15-year-olds, and they speak to the realities of human trafficking. And this group even helps girls beyond the borders of the U.S.
As these young women continue to work for their peers, pimps roam the streets of major cities all over the world looking for young girls. And there in Washington, where power is concentrated in the hands of a select few, they seem to have no trouble finding their next victim.