Sex Trafficking Within The United States

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Between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked into the United States annually, and often, the average age of entry is thirteen to fourteen years old (Hodge, 2008). One victim recalls that her pimp, a man who controls sex workers and keeps the earnings, would take her and two other girls from the ninth grade out of school during lunchtime, have them do calls, and bring them back. She explains, “He knew how to read each girl—this one likes to party, that one needs a job, this one wants drugs.” By doing this he could coerce the girls into doing anything he wanted or needed them to (Collins, 2011). According to the Department of Justice, 300,000 children may become victims of sex trafficking each year (Bessler & Greenwood, 2014). However, under federal law, anyone under 18 years of age persuaded into commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking, regardless of whether the trafficker uses force, fraud, or coercion (Coorlim & Ford, 2015). Despite these statistics, the numbers reported on trafficking are inaccurate. Deirdre Bialo-Padin, the Brooklyn D.A.’S Chief of Domestic Violence explains “They’re too low. It’s an underreported crime. Who is going to raise her hand and say, ‘Hi, I’m a trafficking victim!’” When people think of human trafficking they immediately think of things such as drugs and confinement (Collins, 2011). However, most traffickers use subtle approaches to make victims feel helpless and alone so they can eventually trick them into entering into the sex
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