A Teenage Sex Slave in an American Suburb

13 02 2009

Theresa Flores, 15, living in an up-scale Detroit neighborhood, became a sex slave. New to town, a cute guy offered her a ride home from school and she smittenly took him up on the offer. He took her to his house, kissed her, wouldn’t stop when she said no, and raped her. Stoutly Catholic, the shame of what happened to her caused her to keep it a secret…even from her mother.

MSNBC.com

Theresa Flores, Victim of Sex Slavery - Credit: MSNBC.com

Unbeknownst to her, the rapist’s cousins watched and took photos and these were used to blackmail her. The rapist took her to his cousins’ house. They gang raped and beat her and told her from then on, she had to do whatever they said. Three or four nights a week they would pick her up, drug her, rape her, and let paying “clients” rape her also. This went on for two years until Theresa moved. Her parents never knew.

In college she finally found the courage to say what had happened to her, but by then, it was too late to prosecute the initial rapist who psychologically tortured her into submission.

Theresa appeared on the Today Show today to tell her story…now 28 years later. She is a mother of three and has written a book about what she went through entitled “The Sacred Bath: An American Teen’s Story of Modern Day Slavery.” Amazon contributes this information about Theresa:

Ms. Flores has been a Licensed Social Worker for nearly twenty years. She holds a Master’s of Science in Counseling Education and is a Human Development Specialist. Ms. Flores writes a regular magazine article entitled Spiritual Parenting, facilitates a monthly kid’s group and is the mother of three children. She lectures nationally on parenting, multi-cultural issues and human trafficking. Ms. Flores’ mission is to educate others on the horrors of trafficking and fight against this huge injustice of innocent people. She hopes that by revealing her story, it will give victims of all types of abuse hope and assist in their healing process.

She has a website on this… http://traffickfree.com and has helped open a haven for trafficked girls in Ohio called Gracehaven House. Theresa says there are resources for foreign girls trafficked in the U.S., but not for American girls. There are only 39 beds for such girls in the entire country.

Your next door neighbor could be trafficking teenage girls and using them as sexual slaves. Girls don’t have to be moved somewhere to be trafficked. They could be leading otherwise normal lives and living at home. Your own daughter or sister or someone you know could be a sexual slave. If you have evidence of this or suspicion, you can call the Justice Department human trafficking hotline at 1-888-428-7581.

I wrote another post on human trafficking with statistics and what the state of Texas, where I live and which is one of the top areas where humans are trafficked, is doing about it.

Take the time to tune in to MSNBC on Sunday night starting at 8 p.m. EST for three programs on this topic: “Sex Slaves in America,” “Sex Slaves in the Suburbs,” and “Sex Slaves: The Teen Trade.” We all need to be educated on this topic and keep our eyes open and pay attention to those around us. Sexual slavery can happen anywhere.

I hope you’ll join me in contacting the White House and asking them to add Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery in the U.S. to their agenda.

FOLLOW-UP

I watched the MSNBC shows mentioned above and they made the point repeatedly that most people have no idea how prevalent sexual slavery is in the U.S. Also, Theresa Flores was interviewed and I heard more of her story. She said on the worst night of her life, she was taken to a house where she was drugged and 20 men raped and beat her. Afterward she made her way in her shortie pajamas and a waitress helped her and called the police. They took her back to her home and her parents did not believe her…they thought she was just out partying…and the slavery continued since they did nothing. Truly, truly tragic.

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9 responses

13 02 2009
Catherine

I posted about human trafficking I think late last year. A horrible story about a young teenage girl in Florida. It is such a huge problem and so under reported. Thanks for posting about this. It’s such an important topic. I really like your work.

17 02 2009
Catherine

I saw the one on Shauna Newell, but I saw this one yesterday. That was just horrifying. Thanks for the post. I plan topost on this again in a few months because I do not want people to forget about this. It’s just too important.

25 03 2009
vallance

her parents were truly week. if it continued even after the police brought her home then this is a problem. But to say that law enforcement did not prosecute is misleading. you are making this country sound like it condones these things. in face they asked her to help them prosecute these criminals and she chose not to probably out of shame. but please dont say that the police did not try to do anything. that is just not true. also if she continued to do it without telling the police then it was out of her own free will and confusion.

26 05 2009
vallance

austin tx gall. i just dont believe. you . you are trying to say we are all victims. you are trying to tell me even though the cops were the ones that came over and brought her to her house they didnt even try to prosecute this. that is baloney. i know people who get arrested for shouting at a girl in the street and you are trying to tell me the cops didnt investiage something as severe as this. sorry but I DONT BELIEVE YOU>

26 05 2009
vallance

besides she went with the boy home in the first place and she said over and over again that she likes him. so she likes iraqi boys. that is her choice. she just likes iraqi boys and she is trying to twist this whole thing into some rape case. she is even married to a hispanic. she likes exotic looking people. nothing wrong with that . just her preference. her last name is flores. sounds hispanic to me.

5 03 2011
Steve

“Girls don’t have to be… living at home.”
If you ever edit these, that’s one I’d recommend to be reworded.

“Theresa Flores …her mother … would be ashamed of her”
-Which is exactly what happened years later when it came out!! (When a cop brought her home after YEARS of prostitution!) (I see you mentioned that “ending” at the bottom.) …What a grrr8 mother!
And people heap the blame on the ‘johns.’

It’s good that you speak of all this child-protection; actually it’s great. You don’t go quite so far (too far) as other’s I’ve read. I suggest you also look into the male infant sexual mutilation called circumcision!!
It is more frightening than anything I’ve read on your pages so far. (see also James W. Prescott)

8 07 2011
smith

I think the policeman who said that he knew the gang was just a corrupt one. See what he did, when someone called and he found her beaten up, instead of asking who did this to you, we will lock them up, he just scared her and her family to relocate to the other place by discribing how bad the gang will be, how danger you are. Geez! if you know the gang for so long, why don’t you collect enough evidence to bring them down? Why don’t you just track them and you will find tons of evidence, even maybe you will have a chance to catch them at the crime scene. Why don’t you just just tell the girl and the family that if you testify, police will protect you and take action. Or if police don’t have the power, why just let FBI take over and protect the victom, bring the gangs in justice. When I watch ‘sex slave teen trade’ on TV, and I really think this is a shame of the local police department. Shame on them! 90% chance they are bribed by the gang.

8 07 2011
smith

I dissagree with Vallance. When police found her, he said he knew the gang for a long time, he knew what they did to her. I will assume that he must also knew that this girl is not the only victom. Then, why you police keep letting this happen! what’s the duty of the police? Always passive no aggressive action like tracking the gang to collect evidence? Only when victom want to testify could they arrest any suspect? He didn’t even ask who the suspect is. He just gave her a card and discribe how danger the gang is, and ask if she want to testify. Did he mention that police will protect them if they testify? Will the police really protect them if she testify? Please think this question: Did he encourage her to testify or he did scared her and the family not to tesitfy.
I mean if the crime is obvious and serious, you don’t just call the girl’s family and let the girl go home, you need to dig deep who is the criminal!!!!

15 01 2013
TheTruthLurks

More than a few people from Birmingham and elsewhere, including professional journalists, are beginning to have serious reservations about believing Theresa Flores and her story. More to come later? …

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