A big display in the center of downtown to draw awareness to human trafficking. Today is national sex trafficking awareness day.
'We are not for sale', is the message A21 wants to spread about human trafficking. The group set up a life-size Barbie box they said represents the thousands of people across the country who have become victims of human trafficking being sold as sex slaves. WAAY 31 talked to one survivor today who shared her devastating story with us.
"I was left in a crib by my biological mother to die and the people downstairs took me in is the story I was told."
Lynn Caffery had a rough start at life. After being abandoned by her mother and taken in by neighbors she says she endured what no child should.
"I was only taken out to be sexually abused when he came home from work."
At age 11, Caffery says she had enough and ran away, but the next group of people she encountered took her down a darker path. A biker group took the young girl and pumped her with drugs.
"They started me out on my first shot of meth and then when I was about 16 I ended up with the Mexican cartel."
For years Caffery was subject to sexual abuse and drugs.
"I couldn't have children because I had been raped repeatedly with instruments."
Caffery ended up going to prison for 12 years where she worked to turn her life around. She says she gave her life to Christ and pursued her education. Now she works to help youth who have become victims of human trafficking.
Another organization, A21, is also working to help save victims.
"Because it is a global issue, yes we understand that, but it's also here in the United States and here in Alabama unfortunately," said Sara Laster.
If you would like to get involved to help end human trafficking you can reach out to either Safe Harbor Youth or A21.
Sex trafficking brings in $32 billion a year. It's also the second largest criminal industry in the world only behind illegal drugs.