Sex Trafficking Thesis

1483 Words 6 Pages
Sex trafficking awareness has increased over the past few years in the United States. Many believed that trafficking only occurred outside of the United States, however, with the increase in awareness and education many myths surrounding this awful crime are beginning to be crushed. The United States is the number one destination for victims trafficked from Latin America and the Caribbean and one of the top three destinations for the victims trafficked from Asia (Hepburn & Simon, 2010). Approximately 800,000 individuals are trafficked across international borders annually and 80% are women and 50% of the women are children. In fact, there are 50,000 victims trafficked into the United States yearly and about 400,000 United States children who …show more content…
This large discrepancy unfortunately often occurs to our youth. More often. children who are victims of sex trafficking are misidentified as prostitutes and as a result, are unjustly arrested, charged, and re-victimized rather than rescued. Although some states have begun to make great strides in correctly identifying a trafficked youth as a victim who needs protection and specialized services through new legistation such as the Safe Harbor Law, there are still numerous states such as Pennsylvania where the Safe Harbor Bill has not been passed and children continue to be prosecuted rather that protected.
Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking in which an individual is forced to provide sexual services against their will through the use of intimidation, coercion, manipulation, and violence or in which the person induced to perform such acts has not attained 18 years of age (U.S. Department of State, 2012). Hepburn and Simon (2010) states that the CIA estimates that more than 50,000 women and children are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation in the form of prostitution, live sex shows, stripping, and
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Unfortunately, these children often fall vulnerable to a traffickers’ tactics as they are often on the run due to difficult situations at home and many have been exposed to physical, sexual, emotional, and/ or extreme poverty (Adelson, 2008).
There are multiple factors that may make a child vulnerable to becoming a victim of sex trafficking: age, poverty, sexual abuse, family substance abuse and physical abuse, individual substance abuse, learning disabilities, loss of a parent or caregiver, runaway, sexual identity issues, and lack of a support system (Clawson, Dutch, Solomon, & Grace, 2009).
One common characteristic for a sexually exploited girl is a history of childhood sexual abuse. According to the research of Raphael (2004), through the investigation of 20 studies of adult women who were victims of sex trafficking the percentage of those who had been sexually abused as children ranged from 33% to

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