The man motioned for her to come closer. She was only 12 years old and had already seen what he could do if she did not follow his orders. She moved in slowly – as slowly as possible without irritating him. Closer in, she could smell the alcohol on his breath. He was drunk, and uninhibited. He wanted her closer.

“Come here.”

When she was in reach, he grabbed her with one hand by the shirt. With his other hand he held up an empty 40-ounce bottle and threatened to smash it.

“I’ll cut your throat.”

She was frozen.

“He was going to murder me,” says Carissa Phelps, now 39. “I couldn’t run. I was too afraid. I thought if I ran, he would kill me sooner.”

The man, a self-proclaimed “pimp,” would torture her, force her to do crack and sell her for sex. Carissa looks back and thinks about feeling that “No one was looking for me, and I knew it.” She says by the time she made it out she had been raped more times than she could count.

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