Domestic Sex Trafficking
Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act where such an act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not obtained 18 years of age.
Every year thousands of children go missing in the United States. In the last ten years the government and law enforcement agencies have discovered that of the 800,000 missing children every year 239,000 are at risk for sex trafficking (NCMEC Annual Report 2009).
Research shows that childhood sexual abuse places youth at a greater risk for sexual exploitation; the Letot Center, a juvenile rehabilitation facility in Dallas, Texas, reports from their experience with sexually exploited youth that 93-95% had previously been physically and sexually abused. It is estimated that at least 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18 in the United States, and 90% of victims are violated by people they know: parents, siblings, relatives, friends, caretakers, teachers, religious leaders, neighbors and others (Whealin and Barnett).