A nonprofit organization called I've Got a Name was organized about four years ago in Lincoln, dedicated to stopping the sex traffic trade. Organizer Bob Burton told several stories of women he has met in Lincoln who have been trafficked, according to an Oct. 29 news report in the Omaha World Herald.
“People need to realize sex trafficking does happen in Nebraska,” Burton told the World Herald. “My message is if I can do something, everyone one in here can do something.”
I've Got a Name holds events to create awareness of child sexual exploitation and sex trafficking in Nebraska. The group's street outreach worker, Nikki Siegel, has developed relationships with 120 girls over the last year who have been sexually exploited in the Lincoln area.
Young girls are sometimes forced to offer sex to truckers at truck stops.
“I believe with all my heart that no girl should be for sale,” Burton told the World Herald. “It's time for men to be men and not be buyers.”
One woman formerly trapped in the sex trade spoke with Fox 42 News in late November. She said her pimp approached her while she was working at a restaurant and it all started with a compliment, then several compliments, then he asked her out on a date.
The FBI said something to watch for is a group of girls with someone else carrying their IDs or controlling their purchases.
If you or somebody you know is trapped in a sex trafficking situation, call the national human trafficking resource center hotline at 888-373-7888. Sex trafficking has been reported in all 50 states. For more information, visit truckersagainsttrafficking.org, www.polarisproject.org, or ivegotaname.com.
Katrina Owens, a woman who was once trapped in the trade, told Fox 42 News that her pimp forced her to get gas.
"You know quite often and legally you have to be 16 to pump gas. Anything outside of that is a problem, you know? If you see a young girl, quite often, homes aren't near truck stops. So the likelihood of someone just walking to the store or the likelihood of them just pumping their parents’ gas is little to none. So quite often if you see someone that's under age that are in those places…that should be a red flag that something's going on,” Owens told Fox 42.