Sex trafficking is when a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion OR when the person induced to perform the act is under 18 years old. A commercial sex act means any item of value is traded for any sexual service (prostitution, pornography, or sexual performance). Domestic minor sex trafficking is the commercial sexual exploitation of American children within U.S. borders for monetary or other compensation (shelter, food, drugs, etc.). This is synonymous with child sex slavery, sex slavery, child sex trafficking, prostitution of children, and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
Local forms of sex trafficking that we've encountered include:
Residential Brothels: Owners of a "drug house" were allowing runaway girls sleep in tents inside the house for a fee they earned by sleeping with customers.
Pimp-Controlled Prostitution: The SWLA area still has a terrible problem with this. A contact and partner of SWLA Abolitionists used to work the streets herself of Lake Charles and has given tours of the locations known for prostitution including child trafficking.
Fake Massage Business: Businesses in Lake Charles and Sulphur have been busted for being fronts for human trafficking.
Escort Services & Online Services: Thanks to the newly passed SESTA bill, websites are shutting down their escort and trafficking sections. Those who refuse to shut down, like Backpage, are being sized by the FBI.
Sex trafficking is happening here and now.
Thankfully, people are stepping up and things are changing. We are partnering with many community members, businesses and organizations to protect our cities. We've also have had city and state governments come together to do their part.
One example can be found from 2014. A local hotel employee helped us with providing good intel to local authorities and arrests were made as part of a national operation to curve child sex trafficking.
- In the U.S., it accounts for over 80% of all human trafficking, according to the Department of Justice.
- 83% of sex trafficking victims in the U.S. are American citizens. (DOJ)
- The average age for entry into sex trafficking is 12-14 years old. (Shared Hope)
- A pimp can make $150,000-$200,000 per child each year and the average pimp has 4 to 6 girls. (U.S. Justice Department, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
- The average victim may be forced to have sex up to 20- 48 times a day. (Polaris)
- Within the first 48 hours of being on the streets, 1 in 3 children are lured into commercial sexual exploitation. (Dept. of Health & Human Services)
- The age of the youngest confirmed sex trafficking victim in Louisiana was just a few months old.
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