About Holly

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

Holly has 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 (Associate Deputy Director of the FBI). Holly’s story and advocacy has been featured via multiple media outlets, including Cosmopolitan magazine, the Brian Lehrer Show, Huffington Post, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, PBS NewsHour, and USA Today

Holly submitted joint testimony to Congress in 2011 with labor trafficking survivor, Ima Matul (CAST, Mentari), in support of reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). She also addressed the Virginia General Assembly in February 2012 in support of Senator Adam Ebbin’s bill SB 259, which would 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 Delaware and in New Hampshire for bills that would increase protections for victims of forced 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. In 2015, Holly testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of two bills addressing human trafficking: the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act and the Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act.

Holly has presented at several colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania, Howard University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Richmond. She has been invited to press conferences with former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and New Jersey A.G. Jeffrey S. Chiesa. Holly has worked as a training consultant for the Office for Victims of Crime, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and Fox Valley Technical College’s AMBER Alert program. She is requested on a regular basis to provide testimony and input to law enforcement officials, legislators, social service providers, human trafficking task forces, and journalists. Holly has been invited as a plenary or keynote speaker for events across the globe, including the 2012 Department Of Justice’s Trafficking in Persons Symposium in Salt Lake City, UT; the 2013 National Association of Attorneys General conference in Milwaukee, WI; the 2013 Next Generation Leadership Exchange Forum in Paris, France; the 2014 DOJ National Missing Children’s Day award ceremony in Washington, DC; the 2014 Immigration and Customs Enforcement event for World Day Against Child Labor in Washington, DC; and the 2014 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime event for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in Cali, Colombia.

Holly works with survivors and anti-trafficking organizations across the world. When she isn’t speaking, Holly contributes articles to the Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and Communities Digital News (formerly the Washington Times Communities). In her nonfiction book, Walking Prey, Holly shares her personal story and discusses child sex trafficking in the United States. Walking Prey is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound. Holly earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in writing from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (now Stockton University). She currently lives in Richmond, VA with her husband, Ben, and their adopted Jack Russell, Jackie.

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

 

4 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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