About Holly

Holly is a survivor of child sex trafficking and an advocate against all forms of commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

In 2011, Holly appeared on the Dr. Oz show to raise awareness for the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking, along with Tina Frundt (Founder of Courtney’s House), Lisa Ling (American journalist and advocate), and Kevin Perkins (Director of the FBI’s Innocence Lost Initiative). Holly was also featured in the August 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, along with survivors, Carissa Phelps and Minh Dang.

Holly submitted joint testimony to Congress in September 2011 with labor trafficking survivor, Ima Matul (CAST Advisory Caucus member), in support of the reauthorization of the Trafficked Victims Protection Act (TVPRA). She also addressed the Virginia General Assembly in February 2012 in support of Senator Adam Ebbin’s bill SB 259, which will require the Board of Education to provide awareness and training materials for local school divisions on human trafficking, including strategies for the prevention of trafficking children. In 2014, Holly testified in New Hampshire before the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bill that would increase protections for victims of labor and sex trafficking. She also testified before the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on the connection between sporting events and sex trafficking.

Holly has presented to several colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania, Howard University, and the University of Richmond; and she has been invited to press conferences with Virginia Attorney General (A.G.) Ken Cuccinelli and New Jersey A.G. Jeffrey S. Chiesa. In addition to working as a training consultant for Fox Valley Technical College’s AMBER Alert program, Holly is requested on a regular basis to provide testimony and input to law enforcement officials, social service providers, human trafficking task forces, and journalists. Holly was also invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Symposium in Salt Lake City, UT, an event hosted by the United States Department of Justice. Most recently, Holly presented at the 2013 National Association of Attorneys General conference in Milwaukee, WI. She also spoke at the 2013 Next Generation Leadership Exchange Forum in Paris, France on the connection between negative messages in the media (e.g. the sexual objectification of women in advertising) and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Holly works with survivors and anti-trafficking organizations across the globe. When she isn’t speaking, Holly is writing for her weekly column, Speaking Out, with the Communities Digital News (formerly the Washington Times Communities). In her nonfiction book, Walking Prey, Holly shares her personal story and discusses many dynamics related to the commercial sexual exploitation of children, including child sex trafficking, in the United States. Walking Prey is available on AmazonBarnes and Noble, or IndieBound. Holly earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a Minor in Writing from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She currently lives in Richmond, VA with her husband, Ben.

For additional information or to follow Holly’s progress, please visit:

www.facebook.com/HollyAustinSmith
Twitter / @Holly_A_Smith

Stay Updated on Holly’s
Upcoming Book

 

2 thoughts on “About Holly

  1. Thanks for the great blog, and I affirm your courage. When you get your memoir published, please send me the title and links to info about the book so I can include it on the books page on my humantrafficking blog. I rotate links to other blogs on mine, so yours is in the rotation now. Hopefully you’ll get a few referrals from me now and then! :-)
    -Carl

  2. Dear Holly: Thank you for your participation in the ECAPT-USA art auction
    on Oct 22nd at Salmagundi and for your continuing support of trafficking victims.
    Sherrie Murphy
    ECPAT volunteer and
    Exec VP, Board of Directors
    UNA-NY

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