Sold as a Sex Object for Drugs by her own Mother
For years, Savannah Parvu was sold for sex at hotels in Central Florida. It started when she was 11. Hotel staff knew what was happening, she said, but did nothing. Nurses and doctors in emergency rooms where she was taken with broken bones didn’t ask questions.
Her mother went to a drug dealer’s house for drugs and the dealer asked if he could have her daughter as payment. For years, Savannah was used for sex to pay for $10 worth of crack for her own mother; and later her foster parents sold her for drugs as well.
Tomas Lares, founder of the anti-human trafficking nonprofit Florida Abolitionist, estimates that only one in 10 cases his organization has dealt with in Central Florida ended with traffickers being prosecuted. He said victims often don’t want to relive their trauma on the witness stand and the increased anti-immigrant rhetoric in the U.S. has pushed foreign-born victims even deeper into the shadows.
As disturbing as the inner workings of human trafficking is the fact that people of all walks of life — from a deacon to billionaires — allegedly fueled this multi-county ring with their demand for sex.
As long as there are “johns” willing to look the other way, victims will continue to be hidden in plain sight.