Monday, April 29, 2013

Statistical Information on Trafficking in the United States

The statistics are overwhleming, make me sick and provoke an intense anger within me.  But, they are so very necessary to know if we are going to protect our nation's children.

  • An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year.  The number of US citizens trafficked within the country is even higher, with an estimated 200,000 American children at risk for trafficking in to the sex industry.  (US Dept of Justice) 
  • The average age of entry for children victimized by the sex trade industry is 12 years.  (US Dept of Justice)
  • As many as 2.8 million children run away each year in the US.  Within 48 hours of hitting the streets, one third of those children are lured or recruited into the underground world of prostitution and pornography.  (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) 
  • Reports of exploited children grow every year.  In 2009, the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children received more than 120,000 reports on its cyber tip line.  In 2010, the number grew to over 160,000 with the vast majoity being from child pornography.
  • Child pornography is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States right now.  Nationally, there has been a 2500% increase in arrests in 10 years.  (FBI)
  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which helps to identify and locate children in pornography photos and videos, says its staff reviewed more than 10.5 million images in 2009 alone.
  • Schools are a primary recruiting area for sex traffickers.  Pimps often frequent school parking lots or surrounding streets in search of vulnerable looking teens.  Girls already caught up in sex trafficking are often used by their pimps to recruit their fellow students.  (mwvcaa.org)
  • Affection is the most common tool used by sex traffickers to lure victims into bondage.  (mwvcaa.org)

Risk Factors for Minor Domestic Sex Trafficking Victims
  • Age
  • Poverty
  • Sexual abuse
  • Family substance/physical abuse
  • Individual substance abuse
  • Learning disabilities
  • Loss of parent/caregiver
  • Runaway/throwaway
  • Sexual identity issues
  • Lack of support systems
What you should do with this information will be personal for each one of you.  In the coming weeks, as we delve into these issues further, I know pain will be a likely result. 

I also know that one of these issues has more than likely impacted you or someone you love.  One of these issues will stir your senses of justice, mercy and commitment.  And your actions as a result of that stirring will effect someone's life who is at risk.  You may be a game changer for someone.

Stick with us.  It hurts.  I know that.  But seeing even one child through - one child away from this life - will make it all worth it.




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