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The forgotten children: Sex-trafficking in America with Alexa

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The majority of these children being sold for sex are girls between the ages of 7 years and 14. They are girls abducted or lured by traffickers and then routinely raped, beaten into submission, and sometimes even branded. When the girls try to run away, their traffickers torture and or gang rape them.

The ugly truth is that it is less risky and more profitable to sell a girl than crack cocaine or meth. The U.S. government spends 300 times more money each year to fight drug trafficking than it does to fight human trafficking. And the criminal penalties for drug trafficking are generally greater than the ones usually levied against those who traffic in girls. Traffickers, and especially the politely termed “Johns,” are rarely arrested and prosecuted. Which explains the growing demand for vey young girls— at the click of a mouse, a “John” can purchase a girl online on legitimate websites like Backpage.com, with minimal fear of punishment.

Many of these girls who are bought and sold for sex come out of a broken foster care system. “Of the trafficking victims in Alameda County, California, 55 percent were from foster youth group homes. In New York, 85 percent of trafficking victims had prior child welfare involvement. And in Florida, the head of the state’s trafficking task force estimates that 70 percent of victims are foster youth.

”  born into the foster care system and trafficked at the age of 10, sold to men all over California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada. She recently shared her own observation at a Congressional briefing on how foster care rendered her vulnerable to being exploited. “In most of my 14 different placements in foster care homes, I was raped, and attached to a check. I understood very early that I could be raped, cared for, and connected to money. It was therefore easy to go from that to a pimp, and at least the pimp told me that he loved me.”

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