Two South Bay moms want to bring attention to human trafficking – a crime they’ve learned recently has been a big problem in San Diego.
This multi-million dollar criminal industry is the focus of the movie "Caged No More," now in theaters.
"Being a mother of two daughters, to think that that could happen to anybody, myself included,” said Kim Boykin.
Kim Boykin and Regina Garcia say the movie "Caged No More" is a rude awakening.
Inspired by real events, the movie is the story of Aggie Prejean, a grandmother on a desperate search to find her two granddaughters who have been kidnapped by their sinister father who sold them into slavery to settle his drug debt. The movie features the work of a special forces team led in real life by Tony Sparks, who recently spoke at Boykin and Garcia's Rolling Hills neighborhood in Chula Vista.
"His presentation that night in my home kept myself and my friends up all night,” said Boykin.
"The fact that I have daughters, it seems so close to hear all these terrible stories,” said Garcia.
San Diego is ranked number seventh in the nation for human trafficking.
"We have a serious problem,” said Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition Executive Director, Marissa Ugarte.
She’s been helping victims of human trafficking in San Diego for more than a decade.
"It's not just for sex, it's also for labor, domestic servitude, modeling agency for boys,” said Ugarte. She says a majority of victims are recruited over the internet or by children’s friends or gangs. “A child that has the first encounter with love will do anything to keep that person happy. And the trafficker and the pimps know this.”
Ugarte encourages everyone to see the movie.
“Just in our case load last year, we had 75 victims on an emergency response shelter that only holds four beds. You cannot hide the fact that we have a serious problem. And the way to address it is awareness. And that’s why this movie is so important,” said Ugarte.
Boykin and Garcia have been doing their part to help spread the word on social media. The director and producer of "Caged No More" have given these South Bay moms 500 complimentary tickets to the movie as part of a movement they’re calling “The Freedom 500 Challenge.”
“It's happening. As a parent, I'm very concerned,” said Garcia.
The free screening is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 6, at the Mission Valley AMC Theaters. Tickets will be given to the first 500 people who show up for the screening.