• Group fights prostitution by putting focus on johns

    By: Linda Stouffer


    ATLANTA,None - A woman who survived forced prostitution as a teenager tells Channel 2 Action News she thought she wouldn't make it.

    "I realized that -- and this happened after many rapes and beatings from johns -- I realized that if I continued I would eventually be killed," Keisha Head told Channel 2's Linda Stouffer.

    Head said she ran away from local foster homes when she was 16 and trusted a man who soon used threats to force her to sell sex.

    "These men who purchased me were normal, ordinary men, and I had no idea that they could turn into such violent monsters right before my eyes, and that was scary," Head said.

    Now Head works to help toughen laws though a local advocacy group called A Future, Not a Past.

    Stouffer spoke with the group's program director about their new focus for 2012: exposing the men who buy sex with underage girls.

    Jennifer Swain wants to build community pressure against the buyers.

    "What you've been able to do that has gone unnoticed will be noticed now," Swain said.

    A Future, Not a Past is rolling out a new message with billboards and a media campaign called "Take a Stand Against Demand."


    The group credits the summer passage of Georgia HB 200 with increasing the penalties for sex trafficking involving teenagers.

    Swain said the new tougher law is also helping change the focus from the teenagers, to the men who buy sexual services.

    "We ask our community members to become outraged about this," Swain said.

    Head told Stouffer she helps counsel local girls on the edge.

    "We have children as young as 13 being raped continually every night. This is wrong and we need to take a stand against it," Head said.

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    Group fights prostitution by putting focus on johns