Runaway girl educates community on human trafficking

Abandoned by her parents and living on the streets at 12 years old, Carissa Phelps was kidnapped and forced into sex work until she was arrested and sent to juvenile hall in 1988 in Fresno.
It was there that teachers and mentors gave her the tools to leave that life behind and begin anew. After publishing a book chronicling her experiences on the streets, Phelps travels across the country to educate the public on human trafficking.
Phelps talked at the Church of Glad Tidings on Thursday in a program sponsored by the local Soroptimist chapter, the Alliance for Hispanic Advancement and the Sutter County Superintendent of Schools. Although she didn't delve into personal details about her life on the streets, Phelps encouraged the audience to take a social stance against human trafficking.
"I don't go back and reopen wounds again and again," Phelps said. "I'll let you read and see what happened to me. Connecting with victims is part of your job when you leave."

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