IN THE PAST, I was blissfully blind. I thought that child sex trafficking was something that happened in developing countries – not in my town. And then I learned that sex trafficking is a growing problem across the U.S.
The statistics are staggering.
- Countless children are sold for sex in the U.S.
100,000 children are forced into prostitution in the U.S. each year. – See more at: http://abolitionistmom.org/#sthash.Bo3lUAr9.dpuf
- Twelve is the average age of entry into the sex trade. (U.S. Dept. of Justice)
- One in three runaways will be approached by a sex trafficker within 48 hours (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children).
- Human rights investigations discovered minors were sold 10-15 times a day, 6 days a week (that’s 9,360 to 14,040 sex acts a year). The girls received none of the money. (Shared Hope International)
Our kids are on the front lines of this human rights abuse. They’re recruited at school, parties, malls and on social networks by people they know and predators who “befriend” them. Recruitment by classmates can even be inadvertent, like a trafficker asking a kid to invite friends to a party. Peer pressure can make youth vulnerable to being trafficked or becoming recruiters.
Pimping is glamorized in popular music and videos. These messages are so insidious that some teens don’t even think of prostitution as sexually exploitative. Some even consider it easy money, while others are just trying to survive. But, self-selling makes kids easy prey for traffickers.
Even our little ones can be exposed to sexual abuse and exploitation. Some parents are being trafficked and some sell their little ones to afford drugs or groceries.
AND NOW, I am mad. Our kids are being trapped and sold and they are not being given the tools to protect themselves. Not anymore and not on my watch.
I am on a mission as a parent and an activist to prevent child sex trafficking. I’ve curated the best resources to arm teachers and others who care with tools to protect young people from predators.
Please help raise awareness of these crimes against children. Our children.