“Human trafficking—the commercial sexual exploitation of American children and women, via the Internet, strip clubs, escort services, or street prostitution—On average, a child might be raped by 6,000 men during a five-year period of servitude. This evil is on its way to becoming one of the worst crimes in the U.S.,” said prosecutor Krishna Patel.
“[The] average person seems to think it’s a foreign national who’s come from really far away… But the truth of the matter is in the years that I’ve worked with survivors of trafficking over 90 percent are U.S. citizens…”
— Andrea Powell, Katana Rising
“Children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day.”—John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Children, young girls—some as young as 9 years old—are being bought and sold for sex in America. The average age for a young woman being sold for sex is now 13 years old. Holly Austin Smith was abducted when she was 14 years old, raped, and then forced to prostitute herself. Her pimp, when brought to trial, was only made to serve a year in prison.
One former porn actress testified, “Women are lured in, coerced and forced to do sex acts they never agreed to do… [and given] drugs and alcohol to help get [them] through hardcore scenes…The porn industry is modern-day slavery.”
These criminal records can include prostitution charges from police that didn’t understand their situation or arrests for thefts that their traffickers demanded using coercion and control tactics.
A Kansas woman claimed on Facebook that she felt an encounter with a stranger was an attempt to lure her daughter into the world of sex trafficking, according to Fox6News Now.
Kim Smith said parents need to monitor their children’s online activity and social media accounts until they are able to handle it appropriately. Things like knowing who children are interacting with online, adjusting children’s account settings to private and meeting children’s online friends in real life are measures which can prepare and inform children of the potential dangers.
“What we are seeing overall is an evident drop in demand… a number of these operators are struggling to continue operating their services,” says Rob Spectre, CEO of Childsafe.AI. “There is also a significant influx of scam advertising.”
More than 50 women have filed suit against Salesforce, an online customer management relationship provider, alleging that the company’s data tools helped facilitate sex trafficking on the now-defunct website Backpage. The women, known only as Jane Does, are accusing the company of facilitating sex trafficking because Salesforce “designed and implemented a heavily customized enterprise database tailored for Backpage’s operations, both locally and internationally
Texting, online ads and social media have created a new market for sex traffickers, but now same technologies can be tools to fight back.
Geoff Rogers- CEO at the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking