EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) - A woman shared her story of triumph over exploitation tonight at Emporia State University's Bonner and Bonner Diversity Lecture.
At the age of 12, Carissa Phelps ran away from home, dropped out of school and became a victim of child sex trafficking.
After being rescued, she focused on education and spreading the word about child exploitation -- which involves getting people to understand what is really going on.
"I think sometimes people know what's going on but they call it the wrong thing," Phelps said. "They call it child prostitution or teen prostitution when in fact it's sexual exploitation and as the president said, it's slavery and when we think about it on those terms it becomes more of an urgent issue for us to deal with."
Phelps now runs a company that focuses on finding employment opportunities for former runaways and victims of sexual exploitation.