A growing number of our U.S. teens are falling victim to human trafficking. In all, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 underage girls are prostituted in the United States, according to a University of Pennsylvania study.
1 in 7 teenagers in the USA run away from home . Living on the streets, one out of every three teens will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. And the longer they are gone, the more likely they are to engage in “survival sex.” After three months away from home, 90 percent of children will turn to sex. (National Incidence Studies of Missing, Runaway and Throwaway Children)
The FBI has identified 14 U.S. cities as centers for the sexual exploitation of children. Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.
Many believe that a large percentage of the abductors are foreigners. This is a dangerous misconception on our part. In many of the reported cases the abductors were someone that the victim knew or a family member. Other teens are used to lure other teens into prostitution. If they are arrested their record is wiped clean when they turn 18. So it is much easier for pimps to use teens to do their dirty work.
One reason that youths are sought after for the sex trade is the misconception that they are disease-free. On the contrary, with tissues not fully developed, they are more prone to lacerations. HIV infections among females aged 16 to 21 are 50 percent higher than for men, a 1998 study in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes reported.
Many methods are used to lure the girl to prostitution. The most widely used method is the internet. Countless teens have left home to meet someone they have met on the web and have never been seen again. One recently known sex ring to be busted was a site called angelicdelights.com. Thankfully, it has been removed from the web and the ringleaders have been jailed.