“There are a few warning signs that stick out more than others,” said Kristy. “The biggest one is alienation." Kristy was feeling alienated and began communicating with a young man on Facebook.
He turned out to be a predator, who later abducted, and sex trafficked her for nearly two weeks. She was able to get away, and now, at the age of 24, works with anti-trafficking groups to warn others.
"It’s unfortunate to have to say this, but a lot of times predators prey on people who are vulnerable,” Kristy said. “A lot of the time it is because you have experienced adversity or have gone through something traumatic. They know how to hone in and pick that up.”
Kristy admits that she hid her social media conversations from her parents, something her mother, Jackie, deeply regrets.
"I never want to see another mom go through what I have been through, or another daughter go through what Kristy went through," Jackie said.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children said reports of online enticement of young people skyrocketed nearly 100% during the pandemic.
The nonprofit defines online enticement as “an individual communicating with someone believed to be a child via the internet with the intent to commit a sexual offense or abduction.”
Kristy has an important message for parents and young people. She says:
"HOW PREDATORS WIN IS BECAUSE THEY SURVIVE IN THE DARK. ONCE WE SHINE THAT LIGHT ON THEM, THEY CAN’T WIN ANYMORE AND YOU TAKE YOUR POWER BACK.
Story sourced from the Spectrum News. All pictures shown are for representation purposes only and are commercially available portraits.
We have taken great care to change names and identifying details for Survivor’s confidentiality and protection