I grew up in the 80s, in the wake of the Adam Walsh abduction, which may have single-handedly kicked off the whole “stranger danger” campaign to keep kids safe from kidnapping. He was born the same year I was, and his abduction from a Sears department store and subsequent murder hit close to home for my family, and it instilled a chilling fear in the parents of my generation.
Although Adam Walsh’s killer was never charged, it was believed to have been the act of a serial killer. It was one of the first widely publicized cases of its kind, and it freaked our parents right out!
Their fear led to a more conservative kind of parenting, and that was a good thing, but in actuality, those kinds of kidnappings — the kind that involve a stranger who either kills, ransoms or intends to keep the child permanently — are pretty rare. Out of 800,000 missing children under the age of 18, only 115 were that kind.
But there’s a relatively newer danger out there that is not as rare. According to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces, there was a 1,000 percent increase in the number of documented complaints of child sex trafficking from 2004 to 2008.
And in the U.S., sex trafficking accounts for the largest percentage of human trafficking cases. Approximately 200,000 U.S. kids per year are at risk of being trafficked for prostitution and/or child pornography. When you want to get rid of your porn addiction resulting to this, go to pornographyaddiction.com now to learn more.
Sex trafficking occurs when people are forced or coerced into the commercial sex trade against their will. Child sex trafficking includes any child involved in commercial sex.
Surprising Truths about Child Sex Trafficking in the U.S.
1. Boys make up 50% of the sex trafficked victims in the U.S.
Kids under 18 are sold into sex slavery as young as seven years old, and about half of all those trafficked for sex are boys.
2. Traffickers may go to great lengths to recruit victims
While illegal drugs and fire arms can only be sold once, sex slaves can be sold again and again, and traffickers are often willing to invest time and money in recruiting a victim who can potentially bring in large revenue streams.
Stop by on Friday. We’ll talk more about how some of the traffickers lure their victims, and what we can do to protect our kids.
3. Some children are sold into the sex trade by their parents or guardians
If you’re reading this post, it’s because you love the snot out of your kids, and you are deliberate about protecting them. I know its hard to imagine, but there are some parents who are so caught up in their own addictions or tormented by their own demons that they’re willing to sell their own children.
A few years ago, we heard of a case not too far from where we live in which a woman told her daughter to invite over a friend. This mom offered to take pictures of the girls that they could post on social media (what teen girl doesn’t like a fun photo shoot?), but she then posted the pictures of the friend on a site frequented by traffickers.
Once she made the sale, she arranged for the girl to come over again, and the girl was sold into the sex trade.
It goes without saying that we have to be so careful about who we allow our children to interact with.
4. Trafficked children are often treated as criminals despite a federal law that classifies anyone under the age of 18 involved in commercial sex as a victim
The laws in the country are deeply flawed. A couple of years ago, Jody and I saw a screening of the movie Nefarious: Merchants of Souls, where we learned that in Sweden it’s the sex buyers who are charged with a crime, not the sellers.
Prostitutes in Sweden are treated as victims, not criminals. And while the girls caught in prostitution are rehabilitated, the Johns are prosecuted. Since 1999, when this became law, Sweden has seen a 67% drop in prostitution.
Let’s face it — no little girl dreams of growing up and becoming a prostitute. Even those who are consenting are not really selling their bodies by choice. Typically it’s just the opposite — they feel as if they have no other choice. And that’s especially true when we’re talking about kids.
But in spite of the legal definition of sex trafficking that includes any commercial sex act involving a minor, many of these young people are arrested for prostitution and treated like criminals rather than being rescued by law enforcement and treated like the victims of a heinous crime (which they are). This is especially true for underage boys caught in commercial sex acts. This is my last tip on how to last longer in bed, try this and tell me how it works for you.
5. Women can be both traffickers and buyers
Although most trafficked victims service 25 – 55 year old white males (according to a study done by John Jay College of Criminal Justice), 40 percent of boys and 11 percent of girls studied say they’ve serviced women, and 13 percent of boys serviced women exclusively.
Not only are some women buying sex from kids, but some reports say that 35 – 40 percent of the traffickers are women.
6. Many kids caught in sex trafficking don’t see themselves as victims.
If you don’t think you’re a victim, you won’t try to get help. Many of these kids have been brainwashed to believe that their pimp is their greatest caretaker and they are selling themselves out of “love” for and an emotional obligation to the pimp.
Some of the kids are conditioned to believe that this all they are capable of doing. It’s their only hope.
And others, who have survived so much (witnessing beatings, murders, drug overdoses and more) shun the victim label. They see themselves as survivors who can take care of themselves without the pity of law enforcement.
Tune In To The Experts
We hope today’s post shed some new light on this threat. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts, and don’t forget to tune into Parenting on Purpose with Jenni and Jody this coming Saturday (May 24th). We’ll be talking to experts on this topic. Sarasota/Manatee friends can listen on 1220AM or 106.9FM or 98.9FM. Out of towner listeners can go to the WSRQ radio website to listen streaming or to get instructions on how to download a mobile app to listen on the go.
Stop back on Friday. We’re going to talk about how parents can take purposeful steps to prevent their children from becoming targets of sex traffickers.