The disturbing news about a fifteen-year-old girl who reportedly ended up having sex with twenty five boys in a high school bathroom made headlines everywhere.
To make matters worse, the story was plastered all over Snapchat.
However, the girl’s mother says that she didn’t have sex with “25 boys” and compared the things that happened in the South Fort Myers High School bathroom to a “spectator sport.”
While many were quick to pass judgment on the girl for what happened, there’s a heartbreaking twist in the story that’s just now being told.
It turns out that girl was once a victim of human trafficking — one of the world’s most vile and fastest growing criminal enterprises.
NBC-2 talked to the girl’s mother and a woman named Megan Estrem who runs Be The Light, an organization focused on helping victims of sex slavery, about the situation:
“She was only 13 when she was trafficked,” said Estrem.
The girl was placed into multiple treatment programs, the most recent was eight months long. But because she’s a runaway, only a handful of programs would accept her. None of them addressed the devastating ramifications of sexual abuse.
“She did get some help, but it wasn’t specific for what she needed,” said Estrem. She was a student at South Fort Myers High for only two weeks when the incident happened.
Human trafficking is a significant problem here in the United States. Over 60,000 victims are being trafficked right now within our borders — and the median age for a girl being forced into sex slavery in America is just thirteen.