HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Survivor Speaks Out

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A young Iowa woman has moved from being a sex trafficking victim to speaking out against the crime.

Twenty-two-year-old Brittney Phillips is a survivor of sex trafficking.

“Brittney’s made an incredible journey from 15-year-old sex trafficking victim, to a survivor, to a leader in the state wide fight against human trafficking,” says George Belitsos, CEO Youth and Shelter Services.

Phillips says, “I was placed in a group home, in Iowa City where I ran away from, then I ended up in Cedar Rapids, where I was forced and co-erced into human trafficking, and then kidnapped and taken across state lines to Chicago.”

As a victim, her willingness to speak out as an advocate to stop human sex trafficking earned her two awards for service at the Youth and Shelter Services annual luncheon. While she appreciates the recognition for speaking out, she says it would not have been possible without inspiration from her mother.

Ruth Buckols adopted Brittany after she was rescued from trafficking by a police officer in Chicago.

The two speak at various conferences across the state.

Brittney Phillips now lives in Story City.

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