KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — It’s fathers, uncles, pastors and teachers who look for something else when they go to an out of town sporting event, like the divisional playoff in KC this past weekend. That, according to a former prostitute who told FOX 4 her story.
Along with the tailgates, the beers and the cheers, there is a seedy business booming out of sight.
“I reached a point where I was ready to live. I couldn’t go on,” Jessica Parle said.
After 10 years, Parle pulled herself out of the life of prostitution. She was pulled in, when she was just 18 years old.
“At the end I was suicidal. I didn’t wanna go on. No hope,” she said.
After battling a heroin addiction and hitting rock bottom, Jessica picked herself up. She is now an advocate at Veronica’s Voice, a Kansas City home that helps survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking get back on their feet.
“It’s just a vicious cycle. You try to get out and a bill comes up,” Parle said.
Veronica’s Voice has seen a recent surge in sex trafficking in the metro and she says as big events come to town, the numbers grow.
“Whether it’s a big convention, or it’s just a regular season of baseball. If there is an event, there is a higher number of men who will purchase,” she explained.
Nationwide, law enforcement has noticed as the date of a major sporting event nears, ads for escorts and commercial sex services increase on a weekly basis. Jessica says while fans are tailgating and getting ready for a win Sunday, Johns will do business.
“I know you don’t have to be in that parking lot to work. The surrounding area outside of our sports complex is gonna have a higher traffic.”
Jessica says it’s a dark secret, looming beyond a big win or any large event in the metro. A surge in sex trafficking and another group of victims put in a life they cannot escape.
“When we win on Sunday and all the visitors get up and go, it’s still gonna happen here in Kansas City.”
For more information on Veronica’s Voice, click on this link.