Filed Under:

Former Child Trafficking Victim Now Mentors Others

Play associated audio

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Sheila White grew up in a troubled home. She was abused and ended up in foster care as a teenager. Not long after that, feeling low and confused, she met a man who soon became her pimp.

During the years she was forced into sex work, White was exposed to extreme violence. But, she explains, some victims have a hard time leaving their exploiters.

"As awful as the situation may be, there are needs that are being met," White says. "If a girl is ... homeless, if she doesn't have nowhere to go, and she doesn't have clothes or food or shelter, or if ultimately, if she doesn't feel loved, those are the things that her exploiter is giving her. And he's the only thing that's consistent in her life."

After several arrests, the court ordered White to work with Girls Education and Mentoring Services (GEMS), or go to jail. Since then, she has turned her life around, and she now works with GEMS to help other victims of sex trafficking escape and rebuild their lives.

The FBI recently led a nationwide sting that rescued more than 100 girls from child sex trafficking. The FBI contends that many of these children are trafficked through sites like Backpage, an online marketplace that NBC News dubbed "the current Craigslist for prostitution ads in the United States."

Join Our Sunday Conversation

Do you think online classified sites that advertise "adult" services should be shut down, even though the FBI says they help track down sex criminals? Tell us on Weekend Edition's Facebook page or in the comment section below.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Lisa Lucas Takes The Reins At The National Book Foundation

Lucas is the third executive director in the history of the foundation, which runs the National Book Awards. Her priority? Inclusivity: "Everyone is either a reader or a potential reader," she says.
NPR

The Shocking Truth About America's Ethanol Law: It Doesn't Matter (For Now)

Ted Cruz doesn't like the law that requires the use of ethanol in gasoline. So what would happen if it was abolished? The surprising answer: not much, probably.
WAMU 88.5

The Latest on the Military, Political and Humanitarian Crises in Syria

Russia continues airstrikes in Syria. Secretary Kerry meets with world leaders in an attempt to resolve the country’s five-year civil war. A panel joins Diane to discuss the latest on the military, political and humanitarian crises facing Syria.

NPR

Should India's Internet Be Free Of Charge, Or Free Of Control?

Facebook's free Internet service was banned in India on the basis of net neutrality this week. Internet providers, regulators say, should not be allowed "to shape the users' Internet experience."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.