Story of survival: Being sex trafficked in Tampa

"My story is really about being the girl next door, about still going to school, about all the activities, being a dancer, in the marching band, going to pep rallies."

TAMPA, Fla. -- The internet is a major driving force behind the booming sex trafficking business but predators have been selling girls far before the internet.

10News reporter Liz Crawford met Connie Rose, a survivor whose story started in Tampa in the 1960's.

Rose was a good student who lived in a nice home with her family in Tampa.

"My story is really about being the girl next door, about still going to school, about all the activities, being a dancer, in the marching band, going to pep rallies," explained Rose.

Behind closed doors, Connie Rose was abused by her own father but that was only the beginning of her nightmare.

When she was a teenager, Rose's dad encouraged her to model but really he wanted the pictures so he could show them to potential buyers.

"He would start prostituting me out, basically renting me out by the hour, sometimes by the night," said Rose.

Even though Connie Rose was a victim 40 years ago, she knows what's happening today because she's devoted her life to educating others about sex trafficking. She's actually grateful that the internet and social media weren't around back in her day because it makes the sex trafficking business that much more accessible to predators.

Connie eventually broke free of the sex trafficking chains when she got married right after college. She said years of therapy and self care got her to where she is today.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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