A Madison woman who escaped human trafficking is sharing her story, hoping to help others do the same.
In 2012, Lexie Weems was a struggling 21-year-old who had gotten into some trouble.
“I was just in a real vulnerable state and I think that was his perfect time to come into my life,” she said.
A predator found her on Twitter and took advantage of her weakness, carrying on an online friendship for a year. Eventually, she visited this man, who she thought was a good friend, in Atlanta. But she wound up trapped.
“The hardest part was knowing that I trusted somebody for that long and that whole entire time they were plotting on me,” Weems told 27 News. “They had a whole different plan for me than what I thought that it was. I think that was my hardest part, was the betrayal.”
She says the man drugged her and forced her into daily prostitution. She tried to leave, but once she started fighting to escape, he became violent.
“He knew where I lived, he threatened my family, and after that it was just kind of like what do you do now?” she said.
Her story is just one of many cases of a predator grooming a victim and maintaining control to keep her from escaping.
Twitter was placed on the Dirty Dozen List because of its failure to take proactive measures to stop sex trafficking, prostitution and pornography on its platform.
To be removed from the Dirty Dozen List, we ask Twitter to initiate a program to sweep through images and keywords to remove accounts, Periscope streams, and web links that include pornographic material or advertisements for pornographic material and/or prostitution.
Also, Twitter should improve its reporting system so users can specifically report accounts or tweets posting prostitution or pornographic materials or links.