Sex trafficking: Lifelong struggle of exploited children
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of BBC
Posted: August 2nd, 2015
"Trafficking" often conjures images of people from other countries being smuggled over land and across the sea and then forced to work against their will in foreign lands. People are trafficked into America from Mexico, Central and South America. But the vast majority of children bought and sold for sex every night in the United States are American kids. Neglected, abused, exploited and often ignored starting from a young age - sometimes even prosecuted by the very people who should have protected them. In Minnesota [former sex workers] sought support through an advocacy group called Breaking Free. Half of the women in the group were under the age of 18 when they first were sold for sex. One woman says she was bought by her aunt at the age of 14. "She gave my mom $900. Told me I was going shopping at the mall." The aunt would bring her to drug dealers' houses, where she was raped and given drugs. "She would leave me...and then [was] like 'You were messed up, you wanted to stay'," she recalls. She soon believed the abuse was her fault and her choice. Another ... was 14 when she was kidnapped by "a guy I thought I liked". She didn't return home for two years. Jenny Gaines, who leads the group discussion at Breaking Free, says many "manipulate and take advantage of underage girls". One woman we spoke to in Minnesota was not at Breaking Free. She was on the streets, still working at five months pregnant. She says was groomed from age 12 by a neighbour.
Note: Read another revealing BBC article on human trafficking.