San Antonio Woman Takes Stand Against Human Trafficking

Katherine Svoi Symthe is, herself, a survivor of human trafficking. Brought to the U.S.A. from Romania as a baby, she was then sold to a California family for around $500 and suffered the results of human trafficking for the next 17 years.

According to Symthe, around 30 children are sold in San Antonio every hour, saying that the Alamo City has become a hub for human trafficking, especially as two major highways run through the city. However, having experienced this herself, she now says that while she was at one time a victim, then a survivor when rescued at the age of 18, she is now what she terms a “thriver.”

Fox 29 quoted Symthe explaining that many people don’t even realize this is going on, let alone actually hear a victim, such as herself, telling their story.

Speaking at the Wax Club Lounge on Sunday afternoon, Symthe shared her story. She told Eyewitness News that it was years before she even knew there was a sun, as she was kept hidden away with many dreadful actions taken against her. She even spoke about seeing her own sister murdered and how they decapitated the girl and gave her the head as a “Christmas present” to warn her not to ever tell anyone her story.

“There would be days that because the guy wanted to pay $700 and see me tortured, they would bury me alive and wait until I suffocated then dig me back up and he would collect the money.”

Now Symthe has started an organization in San Antonio called Healing Survivors, Creating Thrivers to help people like herself, recovering from human trafficking. Sunday’s event was a fund raiser, collecting money to raise awareness to both the problem and to the people who have suffered through it. Symthe told the audience that they can make a difference and that they have to take a stand.

“We have to take a stand by passing legislation, taking notice and taking action.”

Dolores Sotomayor volunteered at the fundraiser and said how the story touched her and so many other people.

“I just pray that she does keep going and doing what she’s doing to stop the smuggling to stop things harming children, harming men and women. That’s got to stop.”


Symthe has written a book about her shocking experiences. Unbreakable: The Story of the Unrelenting Spirit of Katherine Svoi Symthe tells the tale of how her “mother” started buying children from the sex trade and then abused them, giving an exclusive look into the life that she experienced. The book tells how her grandfather was Lester Brown, who made the cover of Life Magazine back in 1966 for his cruelty to animals.

The book tells her story in the hope of saving other children and to inspire strength in others.

Unbreakable: The Story of the unrelenting spirit of Katherine Svoi Symthe #oprah #ellen

— Creating Thrivers (@Creat8Thrivers) September 17, 2014

In a similar vein, recently The Inquisitr told the story of Sun Bin, abducted by human traffickers in China at the age of four years, who was recently reunited with his father.

[Image: Screengrab from video on KENS 5 Eyewitness News.]