FBI: Atlanta a hub for human trafficking - FOX 13 News

FBI: Atlanta a hub for human trafficking

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ATLANTA -

Human trafficking is one of the most shocking crimes occurring in Georgia, and chances are you don't even know it exists. It is so prevalent that a house bill was recently passed to increase penalties for convictions.

In the 20th Century Fox movie Taken, Liam Neeson is a father who goes through great lengths to rescue his daughter from a slave trade operation. The movie about children being used as sex slaves was fiction, but for Atlanta native Keisha Head, the story was all too real.

"Anytime a person is sold and treated as an object like you're not a human being, you're treated like an animal. So I cannot even put a word to describe how that feels," said Head.

She was once a victim of domestic minor sex trafficking. After running away at 16, she met a man who very quickly bought and sold her.

"A lot of people want to say it's modern day slavery, but this has been happening forever," said Head.

According to the FBI, Atlanta is a hub for human trafficking -- where sex or labor is forced, and it's not just a city problem. In a Gwinnett County suburb, a woman was convicted of beating two women and making them work without pay.

"Both of the victims testified that the victims' fathers came from Nigeria to tell how the young women were brought here under false promises, and friends and relatives of the defendant testified who had witnessed this abuse," said assistant U. S. attorney Susan Coppedge.

Head says what happened to her can happen to your child, and ignoring the problem won't make it go away.

"Now with the rise of the internet, predators have access to your children so it is more prevalent. You don't have to be a runaway, just a 13-year-girl your computer screen and still get trafficked," said Head.

There is a group in the metro area trying to put an end to human trafficking. The organization Breaking the Shackles raises money to help the victims of human trafficking. For more information on the organization, click here!

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