"Child exploitation is the most hidden form of child abuse found in North America today. It is the Nation′s least recognized epidemic." – University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Work, Center for the Study of Youth Policy 2001, revised 2002. Almost 300,000 American children are annually at risk for trafficking into the sex industry. – U.S. Dept. of Justice
Modern day Slavery A CRIME that the media has promoted (i.e. hip hop, music videos, etc.) Generating $32 billion annually The 2 nd largest and fasted growing criminal industry in the world Not a socioeconomic or culture- specific issue…it’s a global, national, and LOCAL issue
The US Protect Act (TVPA) definition: When a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age A victim need not be physically transported from one location to another in order for the crime to fall within these definitions.
PROCESS+WAY/MEANS+GOAL recruitmentAthreat A prostitution transportationNcoercionNpornography transferringDabductionD violence/sexual exploitation harboringfraudforced labor receivingdeceit involuntary servitude deception debt bondage (unfair wages) abuse of powerslavery For children, consent is irrelevant with or without the Means category.
The recruiter gains the victim’s trust. Sometimes this is a boyfriend, a neighbor, or even a family member. The trafficker is the one who controls the victims. Making the victim fearful through abuse, threats, and lies the trafficker gains power over his/her victim. The illusion of “LOVE” and “Acceptance” are powerful deceptions for the victim! The victim could be anyone. The average age of entry in the U.S. is 12-14 BUT…there are cases as young as 9 years old… (Rachel Loyd, Founder of GEMS) The consumer (Trick, John) funds the sex-trafficking industry by purchasing services. These individuals are often pedophiles who seek to act out their perversions in secrecy.
The greatest risk factor is age – pimps and exploiters go after the youngest children because they’re more easily manipulated. Youth who have a history of abuse (emotional, physical, or sexual). Parental drug use – some parents even sell their children to support their drug habit Children who runaway! Studies show that by the 3 rd time a child runs away there is an 85% chance of becoming a victim of sex-trafficking. Children who have a history of CPS involvement Numerous foster care placements History of being in the Juvenile Justice System Sources: Shared Hope International, The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex-Trafficking and the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE), Sexually Exploited Children & Teens
Social Ostracization and Isolation Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental illnesses Alcohol/Drug Addiction Debilitating low self-esteem Imprisonment Death
Identifying sex-trafficking can be difficult for many reasons. Victims do not identify themselves due to fear and shame. Traffickers tend to keep their victims secluded from all forms of contact. Many people do not know about sex-trafficking and do not report it even though it is happening in their community.
Withdrawing from home life, becoming secretive and uncommunicative, missing curfew or running away Skipping school and dropping grades Dropping old friends for a new group Dressing provocatively, heavy makeup, obsession with wanting to look older Negative attitude towards police and authority Exhibiting extreme mood swings, abusive language and behaviors Lying about where they are and what they're doing Resource: Sexually Exploited Children & Teens (www.sacramentosect.org)
Coming home drunk or on drugs Staying out late Being extremely secretive about their activities Acting extremely protective of a new boyfriend/girlfriend Having a new boyfriend/girlfriend who is much older Having unexplained money Bring home new and expensive clothing and gifts Packing a change of clothes when they go out Resource: Sexually Exploited Children & Teens (www.sacramentosect.org)
Teens choose to prostitute themselves If they really wanted out, they could leave at any time Teens are willing participants/know what they are getting into Teens get paid to do this Teens enjoy sex anyway, so why not get paid This only happens to females This only happens to "bad" kids or kids from "bad" families Resource: Sexually Exploited Children & Teens (www.sacramentosect.org)
Community members must acknowledge this as an atrocity against humanity by: ◦ Assuming personal responsibility ◦ Raising awareness in the community ◦ Lending a supportive ear to victims ◦ Supporting community organizations that are actively fighting on behalf of victims of human trafficking Stricter laws must be enforced to punish consumers and traffickers. ◦ Under current law, it is easier and more profitable to sell children then drugs ◦ Traffickers are hardly ever prosecuted Victims must have resources and community support so that they can be rehabilitated. Youth at risk must be identified and provided with prevention support.
Keep an open and non-judgmental mind Familiarize yourself with resources for rehabilitation Identify key community partners that can assist Foster a trusting relationship with identified victims “I believe you…” Stay calm Avoid “Why” questions Meet them where they are Respect cultural differences Assess risk Notify appropriate authorities (i.e. CPS, Support Programs for Victims, etc.)
In 2009 we had a sixth grader in one of our elementary schools who was being trafficked to the Bay Area. SCUSD, along with UC Davis and Wind Youth Services, pulled together community partners, neighboring districts, law enforcement and governmental agencies from all over the Sacramento area. We serve our community and each other and equip individuals and agencies with the tools they need to support young people exiting prostitution
If there are red flags but NO disclosure from the youth Determine if CPS report is required Connect with your school resources (counselors, social workers, etc) & brainstorm problem solving Follow your school site protocol Call Cailey Bronny (916-643-7995) & I can trouble shoot with you and help you connect with local resources.
If there is a disclosure from a youth, you must make a CPS report because you are a mandated reporter. Connect with your school site principal, inform your supervisor, and determine the next steps needed. After all reporting has been completed, connect with your school site resources (counselors, social workers, etc) and brainstorm next steps. In addition, call Cailey (916-643-7995) for additional assistance and resources.
Bridget Gray was a friend of our founder, Leah Albright-Byrd. Bridget was a foster child became a victim of sex-trafficking at the age of 14. At 19, Bridget briefly left “the life” only to encounter challenges due to a lack of education, community support, counseling and financial resources. She set out to obtain her GED and some vocational training but struggled to find self- sustaining employment and eventually returned to sex-trafficking. On March 3rd, 2006, the day of her 22nd birthday, Bridget’s life was taken by a John in Las Vegas. Bridget’s endeavors to be free from her painful past ended tragically but her desire to succeed will carry on through the lives of other young women who will experience restoration. Children and women who are held captive will be set free, they will be healed, and they will learn to dream again…
Our Commitment… We are committed to ensuring that families, service providers, and educators in our community are equipped to safeguard youth from commercial sexual exploitation. We are committed to equipping and empowering youth in our community to be aware of their vulnerabilities while also developing a healthy sense of self and cherishing healthy sexuality. What We’re Doing… Prevention Workshops Mentorship Crisis Intervention Family Support Outreach Pamper-A-Princess Events Advocacy & Awareness Consultation Providers MOM’s Network Where We’re Going… Transitional Housing Assessment Survivor Groups Long-Term Placement Founder’s Memoir Annual Retreats Job Development