WACO, Texas (KWTX) Kim Millington of Waco was 15 years old when her boyfriend first started using her to get drugs and money in exchange for sexual favors.
Photo By: Chelsea Edwards
It started with his friends.
"He started bringing his guy friends over, and he would send them into my room and expect me to perform some sexual act on them," says Willington.
The trafficking escalated one night when he left her at a house where she was locked in a room and raped while four other men watched.
Her virginity was being ripped from her.
"The whole time I was screaming for my boyfriend," she says. "I wanted him to help, and he wasn't there."
Her boyfriend eventually returned. Millington later found out he had put her up for sale.
"He got drugs, and I got raped," she says.
Kim says she hid the abuse from her parents.
She even kept quiet about the abortion she got after she was impregnated by the young man who raped her.
She also stayed with the boyfriend who continued to manipulate her.
"He told me it was my fault, and I believed that for a really long time."
It took her several more months to walk away from him, but it took even longer for her to realize what type of victim she had been.
At a school where she used to worked, Kimberly attended a seminar hosted by UnBound, an organization that fights human trafficking across the U.S.
"Human trafficking, in my mind, happened in other countries," she says.
When she heard descriptions of human trafficking behavior, she knew she had been a victim.
"Fear often keeps victims from identifying that they're in that situation and reaching out," says Natalie Garnett, assistant director of Unbound.
Her organization is helping Kimberly share her story in order to help parents and teachers recognize when a young person might be in danger.
"Are they pulling away? Is there a dramatic change in behavior?"
She poses questions that any adult that interacts with a child or teenager should ask themselves.
Garnett also points out that modern-day human traffickers often use social media as an entry point before gaining the trust of a potential victim.
"We have to be responsible and understand the technology that we're giving kids access to," she says.
Once a trafficker gains a child's trust, they use it to manipulate them and get what they want.
"They're really set up with the power to control the child at that point," she says.
Twenty years after her sex trafficking nightmare, Kimberly Millington is now a mom and family coach.
She uses technology like the Smart Limits App and email to monitor the social media use of her kids.
"They make it so much easier- if you know what you're doing," she says.
She believes it's imperative that parents learn how to monitor their children's internet and phone use.
"Get with your carrier and figure out how to protect your kids," she says.
Kimberly is not only using her experience to keep her own family safe, but sharing her story online (link provided) to help educate others.
"There's no specific look to human trafficking. If you have one specific model of what human trafficking looks like in your head, you can overlook the way that plays out in people's lives."
January is National Sex Trafficking Prevention Month.
UnBound is hosting a Human Trafficking Outreach event on Jan. 20.
The organization also has a hotline for those who are victims of or know victims of human trafficking: (254) 230-0872.