ARE YOU AWARE OF THE CRISIS?
- The average age of entry into the commercial sex industry in the U.S. is 12 years old. (U.S. department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section)
- One in three teens will be recruited by a pimp within 48 hours of leaving home and becoming homeless.
- At least 100,00 to 300,000 American youth are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation annually in the U.S. (Estes and Wiener, 2001)
- Once a minor who is a victim of the sex traffic trade is identified and rescued there are few appropriate safe placements and homes available for them. (National Report on Domestic Sex Trafficking)
- Human trafficking involves the act of recruiting, transporting, harboring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion, or other means for the purposes of exploiting them.
- After drugs, the trafficking of humans ranks second as the most common organized crime generating billions of dollars a year. (UN)
- The Federal Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 defines sex trafficking as, “a commercial sex act induced by force, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such acts has not attained 18 years of age.”
- The majority of those trafficked are women and children, with minors under the age of 18 being the most vulnerable (Congressional Research Services Report to Congress).
- 80-90 percent of sexually exploited children have a history of child sexual abuse
- The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway (NISMART) children estimate that 1.6 million children run away from home each year in the U.S.
THE NEED FOR PROGRAMS AND SAFE FACILITIES
The “National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking” states that there are few facilities in the U.S. with programs that specifically address the complex issues that a sexually trafficked child faces. It is estimated that there are thousands of children in Los Angeles and Orange counties alone who are victims of sex trafficking. The “National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking” further states that more than 100,000 minors are being trafficked for sex in many major cities across the U.S. There are limited resources available to help girls break free from the cycle of this kind of sexual exploitation. Facilities that provide safety for girls traumatized by sexual abuse in the sex traffic industry are critical. Safe houses and residential programs are vital in the recovery and restoration process.