Human trafficking conference attracts hundreds, warns of a tragically booming business

Published: Feb. 3, 2016 at 12:44 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 19, 2016 at 12:41 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Angela Renfro (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Angela Renfro (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Dianna Anderson (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Dianna Anderson (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Brigid Connelly (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Brigid Connelly (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Angela Renfro is blunt.

"I was sexually assaulted at three, and I got into prostitution at the age of nine," she said.

Her life has been tough. For years, she said she was trafficked as a commodity, sold over and over until she was 29 years old.

"It just takes and strips everything away from you. All your innocence, all your pureness, all your human-ness in you," she said.

Renfro was one of several other speakers at the Human Trafficking Awareness Conference Tuesday with a message: Human trafficking is going on in our own community too.

[MORE: Officer and father who saved teen: 'It's somebody's kid']

"We do believe we have a large number of homeless youth here in this city that is suffering from this," the President of the Human Trafficking Alliance, Dianna Anderson, said.

Anderson said we are just starting to get a clearer picture of how many local victims there really are.

"Sometimes it's the misconception of, it's not human trafficking or sex trafficking, it's prostitution and a lot of times that's seen as choice," she said.

This was the 6th time for the conference. It was held at the Student Activity Center and attracted hundreds.

Organizers warn the trafficking business is tragically booming. It even spikes around the time of the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby.

"There is more demand for it around big events," the event's co-chair, Brigid Connelly, said.

Renfro never let go of the tissue. She is now helping others through an organization she started called the Kristy Love Foundation, A Listening Ear to a Silent Heart.

She is proving she is tougher than the cards she was dealt.

"I am honored to be standing here as a survivor," Renfro said.

For more information about the Kristy Love Foundation, click here.

For more information about the Human Trafficking Alliance, click here.

Copyright 2016 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.