The FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) is America’s central database for tracking crime-related information, and interlinked with federal, tribal, state, and local agencies and offices.
According to the NCIC, there were 465,676 missing children in 2016, an increase of nearly 5,000 since a year ago. Of the nearly 25,000 runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2017, one in seven were likely victims of child sex trafficking. Of those, 88% were in the care of social services when they went missing. (Source)
Human trafficking is the commercial sexual exploitation of American children and women, via the Internet, strip clubs, escort services, or street prostitution.
John W. Whitehead, a constitutional attorney, is the founder and president of The Rutherford Institute and the author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. In a well-sourced article on The Rutherford Institute, Whitehead alerts us to these alarming and horrific facts about child sex-trafficking in the U.S.:
- Sex trafficking—especially the buying and selling of young girls—is the fastest growing business in organized crime (CBS Austin) and the second most-lucrative commodity traded illegally, after drugs and guns (WGBH). Why? Because, as investigative journalist Amy Fine Collins points out, it is “more lucrative and much safer to sell malleable teens than drugs or guns. A pound of heroin or an AK-47 can be retailed once, but a young girl can be sold 10 to 15 times a day.”
- Children—some as young as 9 years old—are being bought and sold for sex in America. The average age for a girl being sold for sex is 13 years old. (DHS)
- Adults purchase children for sex every two minutes, at least 2.5 million times a year in the United States. (HuffPo; USA Today)
- Who buys a child for sex? Otherwise ordinary men from all walks of life. “They could be your co-worker, doctor, pastor or spouse,” writes journalist Tim Swarens, who spent more than a year investigating the sex trade in America.
- In Georgia alone, it is estimated that 7,200 men (half of them in their 30s) seek to purchase sex with adolescent girls each month, averaging roughly 300 a day.
- It is estimated that at least 100,000 children—girls and boys—are bought and sold for sex in the U.S. every year, with 300,000 children in danger of being trafficked each year. (Herald Tribune) Some of these children are forcefully abducted, others are runaways, and still others are sold into the system by relatives and acquaintances.
- On average, a trafficked child might be raped by 6,000 men during a five-year period of servitude. (Sun Sentinel)
- Child sex trafficking is not an urban problem, but takes place everywhere, right under our noses, in suburbs, cities and towns across the nation.
- Where do sexual predators find their child victims? On social media like Facebook and MySpace ; malls, bus stops, high schools, middle schools; foster homes and youth shelters.
Whitehead attributes the epidemic of sex trafficking to:
- Consumer demand “that is increasingly lucrative for everyone involved — except the victims”.
- Government corruption: “a level of corruption so invasive on both a local and international scale that there is little hope of working through established channels for change”.
- Women’s groups who do nothing.
- “An eerie silence from individuals who fail to speak out against such atrocities.”
Whitehead’s advice on what we can do:
- Educate yourselves and your children about this growing menace in our communities.
- Stop feeding the monster: This epidemic is largely one of our own making. Sex trafficking is part of a larger continuum in America that runs the gamut from homelessness, poverty, and self-esteem issues to sexualized television, the glorification of a pimp/ho culture—what is often referred to as the pornification of America—and a billion dollar sex industry built on the back of pornography, music, entertainment, etc. According to The Atlantic, the porn industry brings in more money than Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Yahoo.
- Call on your city councils, elected officials and police departments to make the battle against sex trafficking a top priority, more so even than the so-called war on terror and drugs and the militarization of law enforcement.
- Stop prosecuting adults for victimless “crimes” such as growing lettuce in their front yard. Focus instead on putting away the pimps and buyers who victimize these children.
- Finally, the police need to do a better job of training, identifying and responding to these issues; communities and social services need to do a better job of protecting runaways, who are the primary targets of traffickers; legislators need to pass legislation aimed at prosecuting traffickers and “johns,” the buyers who drive the demand for sex slaves; and hotels need to stop enabling these traffickers, by providing them with rooms and cover for their dirty deeds.