Human trafficking survivor recalls horrifying abduction

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WTVD) -- More than four decades have passed, but Niki Cross can vividly recall three men dragging her up a staircase into an attic.

"All I remember is someone taking and wrapping my hair around their arm so that they had a hold on me," she said. "I'm kicking. I'm screaming. I'm grabbing hold of the rails."

Cross was 15 years old when she was abducted. She spent a year of her life, she said, being fed dog food and being forced to have sex with men.

"No money ever crossed my palms. I just thought that he had some very sick, depraved friends that came in and did vile things to us," she said.

The Rocky Mount native is one of a handful of survivors who are sharing their stories in a new documentary, Blind Eyes Opened.

"I was shackled around the ankle. I was bolted down to the floor," Cross said in the film.

Blind Eyes Opened explores modern-day slavery and the impact on children.

It is going to play in theaters next Thursday just for one day as part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

SEE ALSO | NC group looks for solutions to curb human trafficking

"It is an international epidemic and I will fight this epidemic until I draw my last breath," said Cross.

She says her abductor and others prey on victims.

Cross was singing at an open-mic night when she was promised stardom, but ended up in servitude.

"Traffickers look for 'What is the button to push that I'm going to be able to get in to groom,'" she said.

She was able to escape.

Cross started a non-profit and hopes to help others who are battered, bruised and in dire need of having their self-worth restored.

"To let them know, you have nothing to be ashamed of," said Cross.

800 theaters will be showing the documentary.

It will play in the Raleigh area at:

  • Raleigh Grande
  • Regal North Hills
  • Regal Crossroads
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