Community leaders speak out against human trafficking

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by Lila Carrera

To many it's a thing of the past...human trafficking, the act of selling people as sex slaves is just as prevalent today as it was decades ago. It's even happening right here in our communities.

Saturday morning as community and state leaders gathered to search for a solution, they also heard from survivors.

Denise Harris doesn't call herself a victim.

"I'm learning how to not cry when I talk. Sometimes I can get emotional. You know why I was crying like that, because I never thought I was going to survive," said Harris.

Harris ran away from her abusive home when she was 14 years-old. She was sold to several men everyday by her pimp and when she didn't make enough, she was beaten. She was able to get away when she was 16 when her pimp was shot and killed.  Her struggles didn't end there, she was addicted to drugs and didn't have an education.

Harris decided to turn her life around five years ago. She even earned her high school diploma.

State and community leaders want an end to the suffering.

"I see light at the end of the tunnel if the community gets involved. Human trafficking is a disservice to the state," said State Representative LaTonya Johnson.

CBS 58'S Lila Carrera reports

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