MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - Two local police departments have posted warnings on social media about human trafficking in recent weeks. As they warn the community about the dangerous form of modern day slavery, a survivor of the human trafficking industry is sharing her story as a warning too.
Both Middletown and Morrow Police have used Facebook to warn and educate the community about trafficking.
Anne Grady hopes to do the same by sharing what happened to her. She currently lives in Middletown, but said she traveled across the country when she was younger because she was being trafficked.
"I'm proof that there's hope, and there's healing," Grady said.
At 16-years-old, Grady was considered a runaway. She describes herself at that time in her life as a lost, vulnerable teenager who was looking to escape the pain and the darkness that haunted her.
She had no idea, she said, that running off into the world would lead her into eight years of abuse and control.
"People don't realize that it really is still there, and now, a lot of people are using drugs to hook women and use that as their control or their leverage," Grady said.
Grady refuses to be silent and said that she is glad to see Middletown Police are not keeping quiet either. They shared this post on social media:
Grady, and officials, want people to know that traffickers have a number of new methods, from watching their targets at the store to reaching out to them online. Their message is to always watch out for yourself and for your children.
"It's definitely real, and they're getting more desperate," Grady said.
Local and state officials have said many times in recent years that different types of human trafficking, from sex trafficking to labor trafficking, are currently in Ohio. The state has a Human Trafficking Task Force in place to combat it.
To learn more about human trafficking, click here.
If you or someone you know is or might be a victim of human trafficking, you can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center for help at 1-888-373-7888. If you live in the Cincinnati area, you can also reach out to End Slavery Cincinnati for help.