Story of Survival: 6 years as a sex slave in NYC

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A victim of the sex trafficking trade sat down with News 12 to share her story of survival.

Carmen went from being a 14-year-old girl living in Mexico to being kidnapped and sold for sex in New York City by Mexican pimps, forced to service anywhere up to 40 clients a day.

"I remember and see how my life was and how horrible it was in the past," Carmen says.

For six years, she says she was raped and abused physically and mentally by her traffickers.

Carmen repeatedly considered killing herself, she says, and tried many times until one day when her trafficker was demanding money and threatening her over the phone. She decided to call a friend on the outside for help and run away.

Carmen spent time at the Family Justice Center in Queens, a shelter in Manhattan and the psychiatric unit at Bellevue Hospital, where she met Lori Cohen, director of the anti-trafficking initiative at Sanctuary for Families.

She eventually testified against her attacker in 2013 and helped put him in prison.

Now an advocate around the city, Carmen makes sure women and parents know that human trafficking is real and something that must be addressed with children.

Carmen says she is taking things day by day as she moves toward the goals and dreams she thought were gone forever. She hopes to become a nurse in five years. Last summer, she married a man named Luis.

Four years ago this week, Carmen's trafficker, Benito Lopez-Perez, was sentenced to 18 years in prison after he and his two brothers pleaded guilty to sex trafficking charges.

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