Cities Fight Back Against Sex Trafficking

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Across the country, communities are discovering that human trafficking is not just a tragedy overseas -- it's in their own backyard.

In March 2008, traffickers snatched Vicki Zito's teen-age daughter from a grocery store parking lot in El Dorado Hills, Calif. Eight days later, she got a call from the FBI

"I learned that within hours of being taken, my daughter had been drugged and raped by her pimp," she said. "Within 24 hours of my daughter being gone, she was being repeatedly sold for sex."

Like so many other smaller communities, the horrors of trafficking have hit Sacramento, Calif. But the city is fighting back.

In the last five years, authorities have rescued some 200 children.

This week, Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., held a field briefing to rally support. Before the rally began, Lungren showed a recent "700 Club" interview with activist actress Ashley Judd.

"I really think Christians in particular have a moral responsibility to place the focus on demand and abolish demand. It is not ok to buy sex off anyone," Judd said.

Sacramento is reaping the benefits of an FBI Trafficking Task Force, which has arrested close to 100 pimps since it began five years ago.

"We will win this battle, but we will only win when local, state and federal law enforcement combine their efforts," said Herbert Brown, a spokesperson for the FBI.

Local citizens like Jenny Williamson are also making a difference. She will soon open a home to care for victims.

"If they pick up a young girl tonight in a sting operation, she will be handcuffed and taken to juvenile hall," she said.

Zito says she never thought anything like trafficking would happen to her family.

"I would like other parents to know that this is real, and it is happening probably in a neighborhood near them -- if not in their neighborhood," she said.

However, she hopes her story will sound the alarm for other young girls -- and inspire others to take action

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells covers a variety of issues for CBN News ranging from immigration and religious liberty to human trafficking, privacy issues and food.

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