Kidnapped at 13
Melissa was born and raised in Orange County, California in a very abusive home and as a young girl was kidnapped, trafficked and forced to use drugs as a means of control. Months after her abduction, she escaped by jumping out of a vehicle while on the freeway, a full blown addict. Not able to escape the torture she endured, she ended up on the streets of Los Angeles, in gang infested areas and worked the streets of Figueroa to support her crack habit. In and out of jails and foster homes. Now Melissa is a survivor advocate.
John Richmond was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, and prosecuted numerous victim-centered labor and sex trafficking cases throughout the United States. He frequently serves as an expert on human trafficking for the United Nations. In 2018 President Trump appointed him to lead the United States’ global engagement to combat human trafficking and support the coordination of anti-trafficking efforts across the U.S. government. He co-founded the Human Trafficking Institute that exists to decimate modern slavery at its source by empowering police and prosecutors to use victim-centered and trauma-informed methods to hold traffickers accountable and ensure survivors are treated with respect and care.
The Honorable Judge Maria Hernandez was appointed Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court for Orange County on January 1, 2014 where she served until January of 2018. During her nine years as a juvenile court judge, she created and presided over the dedicated court addressing commercially sexually exploited children (GRACE-Generating Resources to Abolish Child Exploitation) and co-chaired the Orange County Committee relating to Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC). Judge Hernandez also created and presided over an innovative collaborative court for dedicated to boys in the child welfare system back in 2010 which continues to meet the needs of highest risk system involved youth.
Congressman Ed Royce was selected to serve as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he leads Congressional oversight of the Administration’s foreign policy and works on issues such as: sanctions on state sponsors of terror, fighting the poaching of endangered species, and advocating for the victims of human trafficking. He delivered the following remarks: “Human trafficking is modern day slavery that continues to devastate the lives of tens of millions of people around the world. The perpetrators of these disgusting acts prey on the vulnerable and defenseless, including young children. These are not just faraway crimes, but also occur right here in the United States. The U.S. Congress enacted Megan’s Law in 1996 as an amendment to the existing Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children’s Act.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE, SAVE A CHILD.
For victim assistance, call the CSP Victim Assistance program at 949-250-4058 or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.
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Together we can raise awareness of the non-profit organizations, crisis intervention teams, committed law enforcement and dedicated citizens fighting to eradicate global sex trafficking.
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Directed and Produced by: Kelly Galindo
Supervising Editors: Mark Wilcken, Three-time Emmy Award Winner
& Scott Arundale, Lead Editor for 26 Seconds Documentary Short
Editor: Alexandra Miller
Cinematographer: Alberto De Coste Calla & Prateek Damodaren & Dustin Lawyer
Music by: Shanti Re’ and Kelly Galindo
KellyGalindoProductions LLC ©
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