Investigators say they believe slave trade is happening in our own backyard. A Texas woman, who was a former sex slave, is speaking out to inform people of the growing problem.
In fact a Hollywood movie, Eden, is coming out next year based on her story.
What you see is sometimes hard to believe. For Chong Kim's story, it's what you don't see that might be harder.
She lives every day as normal as she knows. The Texas resident loves life now, something that was almost taken away.
"I got trafficked,” said Kim.
She was an 18 year old freshman at DeVry University in Dallas. One night at a club she met, who she thought, was the man of her dreams.
"Here comes this guy who is wearing a Marine outfit, and I was like oh my God. My girlfriends were like he is checking you out,” said Kim.
Fast forward after a few weeks of dating, it was an out of town road trip to Kim's now-boyfriend's parents’ house that took a turn.
Instead of driving to Florida as planned, she was taken to Oklahoma. She found out her ‘boyfriend’ was really a recruiter. He was talking to traffickers from the Russian and Albanian mob.
"I was blind folded, I had a potato sack over my head, and I was bound by my wrists,” said Kim.
She was thrown into the back of a truck and given instructions.
"We are going to sell you as a Japanese girl that is 14 and doesn't speak English. You pretend like you don't speak English…I would hear the other girls going, (sniff), and I was like oh my gosh, there's more than one."
The next four years she planned to work on a degree, was spent as a sex slave.
She was submerged in ice baths, bones were crush, she plotted an escape and succeeded.
But almost 15 years later, the scares remain.
"I am angry that they took my life that I can never get back,” said Kim.
Kim moved back to Texas. Her fulltime job is telling her personal story, even though she fears the mob can retaliate.
"If something does ever happen to me, at least people will know that it is out there, and people will start to pay attention,” said Kim.
"The FBI says Texas one of the top hotspots in the nation for domestic human trafficking because of large cities like Houston and Dallas, but investigators say sex slaves are in smaller towns as well."
"Being close to the south part of Texas, coming up through the border here, Bryan/College Station I would say absolutely,” said Trooper Jimmy Morgan with the Department of Public Safety.
"I think the best thing to do especially here is to let people know that it does exist,” said Morgan.
That's exactly what Kim is doing.
"I'm going to continue until I know the laws have changed for the better,” said Kim.
She's now a mother and wife, moving forward.
What you see is a survivor, and her story is one she hopes no one will ever forget.
The movie based on Chong Kim's story, Eden, will be out in theatres in March.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.