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Teen Sex Trafficking in the US
What you dont know:
The United States is the home for opportunity and freedom. We are a country that houses every race, religion and culture. Behind all of this, we also have a Black Market that other countries such as Thailand and Cambodia dominate in, the sex trade. This horrible practice involves mostly young girls, and some young men being pimped out and sold for sex, and its happening, right here in the United States. Recently there has been some coverage of this situation. ABC news and other news sources aired stories about this underground world of sex trafficking. Though the true horrors of this unimaginable crime have not had enough light shed on it. There are countless stories straight from these young girls scattered online, and only a few websites dedicated to stopping this.
The CIA and FBI have recently put together efforts, focusing on finding the recruiters and the pimps, and convicting them of their atrocious crimes. This article is about the process of sex trafficking, and how it happens. I am going to piece together a few stories I have found, to shed some light on the details, so you know how to better prevent this from happening to your children. I will also post links to the sites where I got my information, so you can educate yourself with the people who are making efforts to stop this.
This will be a long Article, as it should be.
Children from the ages of 5 to 16 are the ones most at risk to become apart of this underground world, "most" are abandoned children and runaways, who are easy prey for the "recruiters" of this business. These people will hang around popular websites and public areas that young kids and teens frequent,most commonly posing as modeling or talent agents, mastering different disguises to coincide with what ever technique is needed to manipulate their target. They will lure these children with promises of money, clothes, fame and even most simply, a place to live.
One story is of a young teen who worked at the mall, she worked 14 hours a day at three different jobs because she was desperate to make ends meet, having most of her paychecks go to her college tuition. One day a young well dressed couple approached her and the man said she was beautiful. Taking the compliment to heart she engaged in conversation with the two when they offered her a modeling gig, telling her they were leaving for California for a photo-shoot and wanted her come. They promised her money and a stable job. They told her that with just this one photo-shoot she could make over a thousand dollars, and for this young girl struggling to pay off her college tuition, she was hooked.
They took her to get her make-up, hair and nails done, she thought she was being prepped for a photo-shoot completely unaware of what the real intentions were. She only became alarmed when the the couple started to take photo's of her using a disposable camera, telling her that when they get to California their real equipment would be used.
Later, when in California, the couple showed her the web-site they had made, and there she saw those photos of her from that night, posted on a escort web-site. By the time the reality of her situation set in, it was too late, she was in a different state alone, with no money and no one to turn to. Once she was passed over to her pimp, she was repeatedly moved around, to keep her completely unaware of where she was. Having been threatened and abused she eventually gave in to her situation, having lost all hope of escaping, she worked as a prostitute, raking in money for her pimp.
Craigslist ads were being posting advertising her services, where she was being moved around as if on tour, where men would show up waiting to have sex with her in the most demeaning ways. After six days, her captors finally slipped up after having her work the streets, offering sex acts to anyone who was interested. By 5:30 in the morning she told her pimp she was going downstairs for a smoke, that's when she ran. She didn't stop running till she got as a far as possible, not even knowing where she was. Finally she flagged down a truck diver who told her location in California. She was able to call her parents, who had filed a missing persons report, after she never showed up for work. Her boss at the mall, told the police about the young couple, and that he believed she left with them, other girls at the mall reported being approached by them as well, telling the same story.
After being reunited with her family, she helped police find the man who held her captive, leading them to the apartment and the room she was held in. The man tried to jump out of a window but was unsuccessful and they caught him.
Another example is of a young teen in middle school, who was abducted in her driveway. A "friend" drove up to her house with two men in the car. The girl attacked her and threw her in the car and tied her up at the orders of the men. She lived in a middle class neighborhood, with her mother home inside with other children in the house. No one heard a thing, no one knew she was gone for several hours. She laid in the car with her hands, feet and eyes taped shut, being driven around for hours with a gun pointed to her head.
About 25 miles from her home, the men drugged her and brought her into a room, where she was gang rapped, four or five men came in the room, each having a turn, even inspecting her body, completely humiliating her. In order to break her down, they kept her in a dog kennel, asking her if she was hungry and then shoving dog biscuits in her mouth, forcing her to eat them.
In order to initiate her into the life style of prostitution, they drove her around, informing her of what it means to work as prostitute, then forcing her to have sex with them in a car, and then later at a nearby park. Without her knowing it, they later put an ad onto Craigslist, soon after countless men were showing up at the apartment demanding sex from her, where she had to comply, she new her pimp was nearby with a gun.
The constant threats of having her family murdered, and the threat of killing her 19 month old sibling with battery acid kept her in their control. This fear and need to keep her family alive, gave her the ability to give in to this life. She was forced to have sex with over 50 men (not including the frequent gang rapes), the men were of all different ages, most were married middle class citizens who told her about their wife and children.
She made hundreds of dollars a day for her pimps, for more than 40 days she was forced to have sex of the most degrading kinds, often beaten and humiliated, she was kept in the kennel days at a time. What she did not know was, police had been investigating her case, getting tips from sources about her pimps whereabouts.
One day, the police knocked down the door to the apartment she was in, but they saw no sign on her. She was there though, crushed into a drawer under the bed. She heard the police calling her name, but was she was too frightened to answer. When one of the officers started opening the drawers they saw her... literally stuffed inside, after some efforts to remove her from the drawer she gave them a hug, and broke down crying unable to believe she had been rescued.
She has since been reunited with her family, touching the lives of the police who found her.
All the men involved with holding these girl captive are awaiting trial for kidnapping and sexual assault, all have plead not-guilty except for one man awaiting extradition from Illinois.
Both of these stories took place in Phoenix Arizona.... very recently.
For the full story click the link below.
Those stories are just two out of hundreds of thousands that happen here in the United States, millions more are happening around the world. The Department of Justice has estimated 100,000 - 150,000 sex slaves are being circulated in the US since 2005, with the average age of a sex slave being 11 years old. Most of those girls are too young to know anything different, basically being raised into that life. Even the woman in their 20's who are forced into that world, are so beaten down and scared, they do not know how to get out of it. Its a mixture of a gang and slavery. You are brought into it, and unable to leave with the threats of death hanging over your head, forced to comply in order to survive.
If you ever see a young woman walking the streets, and they look like a prostitute, ask yourself... is she a slave? This is more common than anyone realizes, the statistic up above is the best estimated guess, because these woman are moved around so often and even sold between other pimps, it is impossible to know the true number and more and more woman are being recruited everyday.
It is said that on a single night, a sex-slave can make from 500- 2,000 dollars a night, if each pimp has 3 girls that brings in 500 dollars a night, that's about 24,000 dollars a month and 624,000 dollars a year, tax free simply by owning these girls.
The more girls these pimps have, the more money they will make which allows then to cover a wider territory, very much like a gang. This is only getting worse, and the Department of homeland security is doing the best they can, but there is only so much they can do when they don't know where these people are. They often work out of apartments, posting secret ads to Craigslist, working through referrals, and taking girls that wont be missed, like runaways and drug addicts, feeding them their addiction, or giving them a home.
If you would like to learn more about this, visit these sites.
There are organizations out there trying to stop this, if you would like to help them check out the links below.
Polaris Project: http://www.polarisproject.org/
Not For Sale: http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/
Shared Hope International: http://www.sharedhope.org/