PART ONE by Cindy, Writer for The Salvation Foundation
When I first heard the term “sex trafficking,” it was several years ago. Not knowing anything about it, I thought this horrific practice happened in faraway places like the Middle East and Asia.
It couldn’t happen here in the USA, right? It was something that poor women faced in third world countries. So tragic, so awful, but so far away.
The closest I ever came to such a thing was visiting New York City, where anyone could see prostitutes strut up to parked cars and men on the street. I don’t recall anyone discussing the safety of these women, their ages, their circumstances.
Around the time of the 2016 presidential election, I started watching videos about a variety of topics to learn and get informed. One video was a woman who presented information about children, primarily girls, who went missing in the United States.
She discussed the incredible amount of kids missing specifically from Virginia and the Washington DC area. These were young black girls who seemed to vanish, and the media did not report on it. Why?
That got my mind whirling.
Growing up and hearing about missing kids, did you ever wonder who took the kids and why? Where were they? How many kids went missing? What happened to them? Those kids whose photos landed on the milk cartons, did they ever find their way back home?
As I looked into this more and more, my heart cracked open. The primary reason kids go missing is Human Sex Trafficking. And despite what I thought and what many others think, this happens here in the United States and the statistics will shake you to your core.
Take a look:
According to recent statistics, Washington D.C. has the highest human trafficking rate in the United States followed by Nevada where kids are trafficked via legal brothels. Delaware, Nebraska, and California follow with high rates of human trafficking.
Between 2008 and 2017 the number of identified human traffic victims in the USA more than tripled from 30,961 to 100,409, most likely its more. It’s hard to find up-to-date specific and detailed statistics since so many cases are hidden.
Human Trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide. BILLION.
Approximately 1 in 7 runaways are victims of sex trafficking.
60% and 70% of trafficked children in the U.S. are from child social services or the foster care system, meaning the system designed to help children is guilty of abusing them.
99% of buyers are male.
Less than 20% of law enforcement receives training for human trafficking.
And if there was ever a reason to not allow your kids to have Instagram, SnapChat or TikTok: the number one place predators find their victims is on social media.
Consider this: the top three nations of origin for victims of human trafficking in 2018 were the United States, Mexico, and the Philippines.
Yes, the United States.
Not someplace far away, not a poor country that you’ve never heard of, but the USA.
Shocking, isn’t it?
As I research further and further into this travesty, I will report here and sharing what I learn so we may learn, and help the victims, together.Stay tuned.