Caddo hosts human trafficking conference
Survivor and national advocate Cyntoia Brown-Long shared her story
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Caddo Parish Juvenile Services and Juvenile Court, along with other organizations, hosted the South-Central U.S. Human Trafficking Conference on Thursday at LSU Shreveport.
This year’s survivor and national advocate, Cyntoia Brown-Long, told her story.
The conference covered issues including human trafficking in Louisiana, trauma and how to identify red flags.
At the age 16, Brown-Long was arrested for the murder of a man who solicited her for sex. She was prosecuted as an adult and subsequently sentenced to life in prison. Brown-Long was granted clemency in 2019 after serving 15 years of her life sentence. Now she tells her story throughout the United States.
“The minute someone comes along and doesn’t fit the definition of a perfect victim, all that seems to go out the window and all the talk about peer recruitment and pathways into sex trafficking and the sensationalized message of girls being snatched off the streets and thrown in the back of white van are more comfortable to accept when reality of exploited young women have fallen a path by multiple missed interventions from the agencies and communities charged with their care,” she said.
Brown-Long now is the CEO and founder of the Foundation for Justice, Freedom and Mercy, where she works to give a voice to victims of sexual violence and shares her story with groups throughout the country. She also is an NAACP Award nominee and a published author.
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