On Thursday the 24th, we held the 23rd Circle of Friends Luncheon at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. Over 300 individuals from across metro Detroit gathered to learn more about how human trafficking, and child sex trafficking in particular, has impacted lives in Oakland County.

As described in our previous post, our guest speaker, Theresa Flores, was able to draw directly on her own experience as a sex trafficking victim while attending high school in Birmingham.

This year’s speaker for the 2019 Circle of Friends Luncheon is Theresa Flores.

Theresa is a licensed social worker, author, international public speaker, expert on human trafficking, and a survivor, with a story rooted right here in Oakland County.

As a teenager, she was drugged, raped, and trafficked into sexually slavery – a situation she remained in while living at home with her family, completely unaware, in Birmingham.

At the Circle of Friends Luncheon on January 24th, she will share the account of her survival, and of what she’s done since to help rescue other victims of human trafficking.

Photo credit: Emma Winowiecki

by Brittany Bartkowiak with Nicole Dekker

Michigan Radio’s Believed podcast has come to a close after 8 riveting and raw episodes (plus an epilogue). Ultimately, Larry Nassar was convicted and will spend the rest of his life behind bars – even though it should have never taken this long. 


While listening to the podcast, I was shocked by how many people involved in the Nassar investigation just flat out didn’t believe the multiple girls who came forward. This doubt is one of the primary reasons why not all perpetrators end up with a fate like Larry’s.