WASHINGTON (WUSA9) --Two thousand children go missing every day in this country. For many, danger can await them. DC is one of the top cities where young girls and boys get trafficked and sold for sex in our country. Debra Alfarone has an inside look at one woman's pledge to help sex trafficking victims blossom into strong survivors.
Smiles come easily to Ashley Cacho of Southwest Washington when she talks about today.
"I just recently graduated from college. I graduated from Trinity Washington University and I'm in grad school now to do counseling," says Ashley.
The past is what the 23-year-old is still trying to make sense of. "Within that time, I was trafficked by my cousin. It was because I didn't know better, and I didn't know the consequences, because when you learn things as a child, you think it's normal."
Ashley's mom died when she was 9; she was trafficked at 10 and sold for sex. She never had a childhood or went to school. She was in and out of hotel rooms, courtrooms and foster care for years.
"Three days before my 18th birthday, I got placed with a host family and that saved my life," Ashley says beaming with a huge smile.