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Victim: Focus Should Be On Men Who Pay Prostitutes

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Minnesota woman who spent 27 years in the sex industry said police shouldn’t punish women who participate in prostitution but focus on the men who pay them.

Joy Friedman was 13 years old when she was first locked in a room and forced to have sex. Friedman said Wednesday she survived beatings, stabbings and rapes over the next three decades before getting help in 2000.

She spoke before about 100 law enforcement officials, mental health experts and community members at a conference hosted by Oklahomans Against Trafficking of Humans.

Friedman said she was often sent to jail for the crime while the man would go free.

She is now the women’s program manager at Breaking Free, a non-profit organization in St. Paul that helps women leave sex trafficking.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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