Tag archives: Sex Trafficking

State of Sex Trafficking In the States

by Family Research Council

March 22, 2011

In an address to the U.N. General Assembly President Bush said:

Each year, an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are bought, sold or forced across the world’s borders. Among them are hundreds of thousands of teenage girls, and others as young as five, who fall victim to the sex trade. This commerce in human life generates billions of dollars each year — much of which is used to finance organized crime. Theres a special evil in the abuse and exploitation of the most innocent and vulnerable. The victims of sex trade see little of life before they see the very worst of life, an underground of brutality and lonely fear. Those who create these victims and profit from their suffering must be severely punished. Those who patronize this industry debase themselves and deepen the misery of others. And governments that tolerate this trade are tolerating a form of slavery.

This tragic form of slavery is not just a problem over there, in third world countries far removed from us. On the contrary, it is happening right in our own backyard. Despite laws criminalizing it, sex trafficking is a huge problem in America.

In The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: Americas Prostituted Children, Shared Hope International affirms that at least 100,000 American children a year are victims of sex trafficking, and that number may be much higher. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) highlights the fact that sex trafficking of children is largely under-reported in their estimate that 1 in 5 girls are sexually abused or assaulted before they become adults and 1 in 10 boys, however less than 35% of those cases are reported. Researchers estimate that 1015 percent of children living on the streets in the United States are trafficked for sexual purposes according to the National Institute of Justice in their report Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: What Do We Know and What Do We Do About It?.

And that question, What do we do about it? must be considered, both on an individual level and a state/federal government level. Legislatively speaking, both the federal government and many state governments have passed laws criminalizing human trafficking, and providing for its punishment (see figure 1 below). However, we are finding that this is not enough. Shared Hope International states:

Victims of domestic minor sex trafficking are frequently processed as juvenile delinquents or adult prostitutes. Prostituted juveniles are trained by their trafficker/pimp to lie to authorities and are provided with excellent fraudulent identification resulting in their registration in the arrest records as an adult… Due to the unique trauma bonding that occurs between a victim and her trafficker, these children often run from juvenile facilities right back to the person that exploited them.

The National Institute of Justice says it is estimated that 96 to 98 percent of victims are in need of basic amenities for survival: food, housing, transportation, etc. In response to this many states have introduced legislative initiatives to promote awareness and support to those brutalized by sex trafficking. The figures below will give you an idea of the state of sex trafficking laws in the states.

For a detailed explanation of each state law check out the Fact Sheet on State Anti-Trafficking Laws from US PACT [Policy Advocacy to Combat Trafficking] a program of the Center for Women Policy Studies.

For assistance or to report a sex trafficking case contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center national hotline at: 1-888-3737-888 or go to the Polaris Project website.

To view a detailed US Department of State summary on human trafficking in the US and other countries click here.

New Video: Stop Sex Trafficking Where It Starts

by Carrie Russell

March 22, 2011

How can we stop sex trafficking where it starts? Pat Trueman, CEO of Morality in Media and Founder of PornHarms.com, joins Tony Perkins, President of FRC, to talk about what leads to Sex Trafficking, and how we can take steps to confront the problem at its origin.

You can view the entire webcast by clicking here.

Sex Trafficking in America: from The Boulevard to Planned Parenthood

by FRC Media Office

March 15, 2011

A special live video webcast hosted by Family Research Council brought together leading experts to shed light on a growing problem that affects every corner of our nation — from neighborhoods, playgrounds, and malls to the local Planned Parenthood clinic. During the webcast, learn what actions you can take to help restore these victims, and stop those who prey on them.

Webcast participants:

  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • J. Robert (Bob) Flores, former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJD)
  • Lila Rose, President, Live Action
  • Pat Trueman, CEO, Morality in Media and Founder, PornHarms.com
  • Samantha Vardeman, Senior Director, Shared Hope International
  • Tina Frundt, Founder and Executive Director, Courtney’s House
  • Lisa Thompson, Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking at The Salvation Army

Trafficking and Prostitution of Children in the United States

by Family Research Council

May 19, 2010

Television anchor Dan Rather had an interesting piece in the Huffington Post yesterday drawing much needed attention to the growing problem of child trafficking and prostitution in the United States. He writes that throughout his 60 years of reporting, few stories have been more shocking:

How many children are being peddled on the streets of Portland and in other cities and towns, to say nothing of the Internet?…The most conservative estimates are that at least 10,000 American children are being victimized. Many experts say they believe it’s closer to 30,000 or more.

Rather talks with law enforcement to learn how it could be possible that so many young people are exploited in such an atrocious way.

… many of the children caught up in this are middle class kids from the area…The girls, sometimes as young as 12, often 13-16, are lured by a “front man” in his mid-to-late teens. He becomes her “boyfriend,” taking her to dinner, buying her nice things, sometimes meeting her parents. The girl eventually moves in with him. Then he says they need money to continue being together. First, she’s enticed to sleep with his friends to pay the rent. Soon she’s turning tricks for what police say is an endless supply of older men willing to pay top money for sex with very young girls. Other times convincing the young adolescent girls to sell themselves happens very quickly.

The Anti-Trafficking of Human Persons division at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services describe the various ways that children in the U.S. are exploited:

In the United States, children are subjected to human trafficking in many different sectors. Examples include prostitution on the streets or in a private residence, club, hotel, spa, or massage parlor; online commercial sexual exploitation; exotic dancing/stripping; agricultural, factory, or meatpacking work; construction; domestic labor in a home; restaurant/bar work; illegal drug trade; door-to-door sales, street peddling, or begging; or hair, nail, and beauty salons. Family members, acquaintances, pimps, employers, smugglers, and strangers traffic children. They often prey upon the childrens vulnerabilities their hopes for an education, a job, or a better life in another country and may use psychological intimidation or violence to control the children and gain financial benefits from their exploitation. Trafficked children may show signs of shame or disorientation; be hungry and malnourished; experience traumatic bonding (Stockholm syndrome) and fear government officials, such as police and immigration officers.

This same US government division provides numerous resources for people who might be victim to these crimes. One such resource is a 24-hour hotline that helps victims of trafficking by connecting them with local organizations that can provide help. The number is 1.888.3737.888. See the HHS website for more information on how to assist someone who could be a victim of trafficking or to learn more about this problem.

I am grateful to Dan Rather bringing this dark issue into the media light. Unfortunately, as pointed out by one commenter, the ad for Rathers story on the network’s website was ironically placed below another ad one with young girls in bikinis — for “Girls Gone Wild.” If nothing else, we can all agree that there is a deep need to continue to fight against the oversexualization of young girls and the many atrocious crimes that can accompany such objectification.

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