Barbara Amaya human trafficking victim, human rights, advocate and activist spoke at FCC Sept. 22.

Victims rights advocates speaks at FCC

By Danielle King

According to Amaya, she suffered abuse under the care of her parents at a very young age. Not knowing how to handle the abuse, Amaya “acted out,” she says. The juvenile system deemed Amaya “incorrigible and uncontrollable,” she said. Her parents were stripped of their parental rights and Amaya entered into the foster care system. 

Shortly after being handed over to the foster care system, Amaya ran away to Washington D.C., she said. In D.C. Amaya befriended a woman that began the process of grooming her for the purpose of “domestic minor sex trafficking,” says Amaya.

“Human Trafficking is about supply and demand, and where boy/girls vulnerabilities get preyed upon,” said Amaya. 

The Heartly House in Frederick teamed up with Amaya to offer public educational events on human trafficking at FCC. Nina Carr, outreach and volunteer coordinator for Heartly House believes, “awareness of human trafficking is key to reaching those in need.”

According to statistics provided by Carr, “21-millions people are being held (in trafficking situations) worldwide.” Frederick has had several cases of human trafficking. On Sept. 22, Edwin Ricardo Martinez-Chevez, 29, and Carlos Roberto-Herenandez, 45 were each charged with running a prostitution business and aiding and abetting in human trafficking, according to Frederick County arresting documents.

After speaking to correctional officer James Elshafey of Frederick County adult detention center he said, all I can say is there part of a, “Mexican gang” they are “illegally here” and most likely facing “federal charges.” 

According to Carr, Heartly House, along with other community organizations like Frederick Memorial Hospital, Frederick Police Department, The Frederick County Human Relations Commission, and the Frederick County Commission for Women recently provided a Human Trafficking Workshop to Frederick County Council members to “educate officials.” 

After speaking with Frederick County Officer Cohover he says, “Yes human trafficking has become more prevalent in the last couple of years in Frederick county.” and we do receive training “once a year, on how to handle human trafficking.”

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