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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, the number of hotline calls regarding human trafficking in Kentucky has increased over the last few years. This includes in Louisville.
That's why a conference was held Wednesday evening on U of L's campus to get the word out.
Toshia Kimbler will never forget the words that changed her life."She said there's no such thing as a teen prostitute. And, I was like wow…what happened to me as a child was really human trafficking," says Toshia Kimbler.
Among this crowd she can now face the issue, but at 16-years-old, it was a different type of life.
"There was a couple in my neighborhood, and I'm not sure what they said to me that sold me on the idea, but before I knew it, I was being sold on CraigsList," says Toshia Kimbler.
They would send her to motels to meet men.
That lasted until her senior year of high school. Toshia's not alone.
She says there are even more websites now where people are being trafficked. and it's happening everywhere.
"It is a problem in every state in the United States. It is a problem in every major city," says Toshia Kimbler.
"And a lot of times people will think okay, this happens in eastern Europe or southeast Asia, but not here. When the actual truth is it does happen in this country. Louisville is a hub of human trafficking and it could be happening very literally in your backyard," says Emma Chapman, President of the Women 4 Women student chapter.
Toshia now spends her days traveling the country with SOAP outreach, which stands for Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution.
Toshia and the organizers of the event say to stop the problem, we must first raise awareness about the issue.
"Now it feels amazing to actually be able to do something to give something back and to be able to make a difference and to make sure this doesn't happen to other children,' says Toshia Kimbler.
Statistics show that 77 percent of adult prostitutes across the country were actually trafficked into the trade as children.
Wednesday's event was put on by the Women 4 Women student chapter and U of L's Women's Center.