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More than 300 professional social workers and caregivers are attending the two-day 2014 Evergreen Conference: Promoting Positive Youth Development at the Sanford Center. On the first day, the keynote speaker was Joy Friedman with Breaking Free, who spoke on Keeping Youth Out of Sex Trafficking. MONTE DRAPER | BEMIDJI PIONEER

Breaking ‘the life’ cycle: Sex traffic survivor speaks out

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BEMIDJI -- Hoochie, slut, tramp, prostitute -- victim.

Joy Friedman has heard all the words. She has lived “the life.” Friedman is a sex traffic survivor. She was raped, beaten and held captive by her boyfriend and two of his friends at age 15 and entered into a 22 year cycle of prostitution, violence and drugs. But don’t call her a prostitute, she was a victim.

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Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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