Documentary taking on sex-trafficking premieres in Arizona

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A documentary chronicling the stories of underage girls sold for sex on Backpage.com made its Arizona debut Tuesday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A documentary chronicling the stories of underage girls sold for sex on Backpage.com made its Arizona debut Tuesday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
On Tuesday, a special screening of the movie hosted by The McCain Institute followed by a panel discussion took place at Harkins in Scottsdale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) On Tuesday, a special screening of the movie hosted by The McCain Institute followed by a panel discussion took place at Harkins in Scottsdale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The McCain Institute hosted the premiere and McCain introduced the movie to the audience in attendance. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The McCain Institute hosted the premiere and McCain introduced the movie to the audience in attendance. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A documentary chronicling the stories of underage girls sold for sex on Backpage.com made its Arizona debut Tuesday.

"Child trafficking is very present in the U.S. and something needs to be done about it," said Kubiiki Pride.

It is a fact Pride stares in the face daily. Her daughter is a sex-trafficking victim.

"My daughter, who was 13 at the time, she had been missing for about nine months when I came upon the Backpage ad," Pride said.

Their story is just one of several featured in the film I am Jane Doe.

On Tuesday, a special screening of the movie hosted by The McCain Institute followed by a panel discussion took place at Harkins in Scottsdale. Pride, as well as the film's Director Mary Mazzio and supporter Cindy McCain, were all in attendance. 

"It's hidden in plain sight and federal judges across this country have been ruling that it is legal for a website to host ads for children online," Mazzio said. "How is that possible?" 

The film addresses that question in detail. The trafficking victims who share their stories in the movie have all sued Backpage, which is a Valley-based company.

"These people that founded it live right here in our own communities and it's unacceptable. The sale of children online should not be tolerated in any way shape or form and yet it is," McCain said.

The McCain Institute hosted the premiere and McCain introduced the movie to the audience in attendance.

"Now that people are listening, now we need action and that's what this film is all about," said McCain.

The film's run is especially timely given that the Valley will play host to the NCAA Final Four tournament in a matter of weeks.

"Phoenix is a huge market for sex trafficking when you have large sort of male events whether it's the Super Bowl, the Final Four. There's documentation of an uptick of trafficking around those events," Mazzio said.

Both Mazzio and McCain encourage people to pay attention as visitors start arriving.

They say to look out for things that don't seem right, such as young girls traveling with men who do not appear to be related to them.

"If it doesn't look right, then do something about it. Call somebody," said McCain.

For more information on when and where to see the movie, click here: http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com/dates/

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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