Mesa woman escapes sex trafficking, advocates for victims

Tears didn’t run down Shanna Parker’s face when she retold the story of her teenage years in Oklahoma City. You can attribute it to her Arkansas upbringing, to the 20 years that have gone by and the events that have happened since, to the speeches she’s orated in the last four years; regardless, her voice didn’t waver during the trip back into her life as a teenaged trafficking victim.

What she has now that she didn’t have then though is control of herself, and control of that stretch in the ’80s when she was forced onto the street. And she uses the power she’s earned to fight against sex trafficking, and reinforce just how damaging it can be.

Parker has written a book under the pen name Angel Meyers, called “And he called me Angel: The story of a Human Trafficking Survivor,” so the following is more of an outline of her life of forced prostitution. Her story, though, doesn’t begin with prostitution; rather, she said it began when the family moved from a small town in Arkansas to Oklahoma City after her parents divorced.

Her mother met a new man who, along with his twin brother, molested Parker for approximately four years starting at the age of 9. They were joined by a series of other men who Parker said molested her during those years, men who had a knack for identifying abused children. She sees it as something of a light bulb or icon that appears over the heads of molested children that serves as a beacon for other molesters.

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