CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Friday is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day and one survivor in Charlotte is sharing her story to help spread awareness.
Joy Anderson spends a lot of time behind a microphone and a piano.
“My voice was taken away for a long time, you know what I mean? So, I want to use my voice to sing about what God has done,” said Anderson.
Anderson was adopted and raised in South Carolina.
“My upbringing was really, really good,” said Anderson.
However, when she was just 17 years old, a chance encounter in a club would lead her into the world of human trafficking.
“She pulled out like $2,000-$3,000 in cash and said my boyfriend helps me get this money,” said Anderson. “You are his money. You belong to him in that life.”
For nearly a decade, Anderson was trafficked in several states and more cities than she can count.
“I would have moments where I would think, ‘why am I here?’ ‘what am I am doing?’ ‘why is this happening to me?,’” said Anderson. “I would see people with their regular families, doing regular stuff, and I would wish I could do that.”
However, about five years ago, she was rescued at a hotel right here in Charlotte. She was met in a room by an FBI agent who was working a sting. The agent introduced Anderson to two women that worked with Justice Ministries.
“I remember seeing them walk in the room and there was like this light on them,” said Anderson.
Since that day, she has gotten married, went back to school, and leads one of the worship teams at Steele Creek Church of Charlotte.
“I love music and it is so awesome that I feel like God is opening a lot of doors for that,” said Anderson.
She wants to continue to sing and write music. You can find her on Youtube and Instagram @1stlady4life.
“When I drive by a hotel sign, I don’t see a hotel sign. I know that there is someone being trafficked. So, there is work that needs to be done,” said Anderson.
Saturday, the Carolina Voices will host a concert at Founders Hall to help raise awareness and funds to help victims of Human Trafficking. Joy Anderson will be featured.