FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A rally Sunday afternoon at the Kentucky Capitol focused on bringing awareness to human trafficking and child sex trafficking.
It started as an online effort and organizers say they wanted to bring it to life on the ground.
“I will always till the day I die, tell this message that we can overcome,” Jennifer Beagle said to the crowd.
“People need to understand just because there’s a woman that’s a prostitute, that’s not her choice,” Beagle said.
Beagle lives in Simpsonville and knows from personal experience.
“I never once as a child said when I grow up I want to be a prostitute,” she said.
Sunday, she shared how she became a survivor of sex trafficking, using her story as a tool to educate.
“90% of children that end up in sex trafficking knew their assailant at home,” Beagle said.
Beagle says she first faced sexual abuse as a 7-year-old when she lived in Florida. She says she knew the predator.
“There are a stream of things that happened to me that led me down that path. But just because I went down that path doesn’t mean that I don’t have value and that I don’t have purpose today,” Beagle said.
Along with speeches, organizers say they wanted to bring non-profits that directly benefit survivors to the people in hopes of making lasting change.
One of the non-profits, Safe Passage, is trying to build a home for children in Kentucky who have been trafficked. Something the group says Kentucky doesn’t have.
“Never in my life have I asked myself what is Kentucky doing for trafficked youth, I said ‘I know no one else has asked that question,’” Cara Starns, founder of Safe Passage, said.
So she’s working to provide a solution.
“It is inhumane to sell a person. It is inhumane to steal a baby, to steal a child, steal an adult and sell them for any means. It is downright evil. It is wrong,” Beagle stressed.
A wrong Bagle is trying to right, in Kentucky and across the country.