Oklahoma Woman Recalls Being Sold For Sex At 10 Years Old
TULSA, Oklahoma - Human trafficking is the third largest criminal activity in the world, following illegal drugs and counterfeiting.
An Oklahoma woman experienced the dangers of sex trafficking first-hand.
Shawnda Jones grew up in Stillwater with two siblings and a single mother.
She said they were poor and that her mother had a drug issue, was in and out of jail and that a lot of men moved through their lives.
Jones said she was only 10 when her mother sold her to a 56-year-old man for sex.
"I would have to go to Branson with him every weekend, and, in exchange, he gave her money to pay her bills, her jail stuff, court fees, all that stuff," she said.
Jones said when the man's checks bounced her mother kept her home, but he didn't like that so she said the man kidnapped her and headed south to the border.
"He told me he was never bringing me home, he was going to hurt my family, my mom was going to prison, all those things," Jones said.
She said he had her for five days before he was arrested in Texas and eventually sent to prison.
Jones and her siblings were first placed with family members then bounced around the foster care system and got separated until she met a loving family and was adopted at the age of 17.
As for her mother, Jones said she's forgiven her but, “She has resentment toward me because I talk about these things and I'm bringing it to light."
Jones said if just one person had asked her questions or spoken up it might've saved her, and she encourages teachers and adults to ask questions and listen.
"Maybe not coming out and saying, ‘Are you being molested,’ but, ‘Hey, I heard you saw this. Where'd you get that,’ or ‘Where did you hear these things,’" Jones said.
Tulsa and 49 other cities will hold a sex trafficking awareness walk Saturday.
You can find more information below or online here.