This article made some valid points. Whenever you mention child sex trafficking, the first thing most Americans will say is that this only happens in Thailand or Cambodia. Most of this country’s effort to end child sex trafficking is geared towards those particular countries. I have attended activities here in Florida, where all of the money raised was to assist an organization somewhere clear across the world. However, when you tell people that child sex trafficking is right here in the U.S, people look at you like you just grew a second head. What is sad about this is that most of these countries who we continue to assist have more services available to child sex trafficking survivors than we have here in the U.S. It is sad to say that throughout the entire U.S there are less than 10. In an article featured last week in TBO.com, law enforcement from the Tampa Bay area stated that they have to send any victims rescued here to G.E.M.S, which is in New York. This is sad.
Most people in our country will be brought to tears when they hear Somaly Mam tell her story or people see pictures/videos of children being sold for sex in 3rd world countries. However, once they say a young child/woman working the streets turning tricks, they call them whores and do nothing to assist this person. This too is sad.
It is time to understand that our children, our future are also exploited sexually in our country. And not only here, but there is reverse trafficking as well. We need to do more to help our children instead of focusing all of our attention to organizations that do nothing for our children. We need to make sure that our children receive any and all services they need to be able to become rehabilitated. In Cambodia, the girls rescued learn a trade such a sewing or cooking, something that will allow them to work without using their bodies. What do we have here in the U.S. Nothing.
We expect our children to be rescued and then go back to school and pretend that nothing happened. The type of abuse and manipulation that these children have been exposed to incomprehensible. MOre needs to be done to help rehabilitate these children so that in the future they do not feel the need to return to the sex industry.
Let’s continue to advocate for our children as they desperately need our help!
Teenager abused in underage prostitution ring found safe
October 2nd, 2010 1:44 pm PT.Do you like this story?
Most Americans believe that underage prostitution rings are problems associated with countries such as Thailand, where the sex trades industry brings in millions of tourist dollars. However, the number of documented cases of underage prostitutes is rising in the United States each year. In Southern California, a 14-year-old girl was found safe on Friday, having been the victim of a prostitution ring.
The story started two months ago when the girl ran away from home. She claimed that she was abducted by Leroy Bragg, a man know to be involved in the business of child prostitution. According to the girl, whose name is being withheld, Bragg found her and forced her to work as a prostitute in the Hawthorne area of Southern California. The girl was found by police after she tried to board a bus to go home. The bus driver recognized her from a missing persons photograph and alerted the authorities. During a police interview, the girl described her inhuman ordeal at the hands of Bragg. Bragg was eventually arrested on child trafficking changes and bail was set at $1.3 Million. However, in between the time of the girl’s discovery and Bragg’s arrest, the story takes another turn.
This should have been the end of the story. However, the girl received threats issued from Bragg, saying that the girl’s mother and sister would be harmed if she didn’t return to him. The terrified girl ran back to Bragg, afraid for her family’s safety. Within a few days of returning to Bragg the girl ran away, being apprehended on a bus out of town.
The girl’s father, Peter Doesburg, stated that his daughter had been branded or tattooed with Bragg’s personal stamp, an indication that she belonged to the sadistic pimp. The girl was subjected to nonstop sexual activities with men who came to Bragg because he employed children. The girl was able to describe Bragg’s operation, stating the girls in his stable were moved from apartment to apartment to service the men Bragg had as customers. Bragg had developed a large scale operation in the Los Angeles area.
The underage sex trade, while often thought of as a problem related to third world countries where a poor economy leads to desperate measures, is alive and well in the United States. In Oakland CA, Police Lt. Kevin Wiley, Commander of the Oakland Police Department’s Child Exploitation Unit, said it’s a business that is only getting bigger. Wiley claims that the child sex market is replacing the drug market in popularity. Oakland now has a reputation for being one of the major hubs for underage sex trafficking. In 2009 the unit made 640 arrests, up from 318 arrests made in 2008. As the problem grows larger authorities are having a harder time dealing with the problem as state and federal cutbacks reduce their active force of officers. Many of the children involved in this nefarious business are runaways, which makes the job that much more difficult.
Tens of thousands of children run from their homes only to fend themselves frightened and alone in large cities. Predatory sex traffickers have made a science of finding and literally enslaving runaways, either promising them a better life or forcing them into service. For many runaways, prostitution is still better than what they left behind. Many runaways leave physically and sexually abusive parents, desperately seeking a way out of their own private version of hell. However, Doesburg’s daughter doesn’t appear to fit the profile of an abused child.
As the numbers go up, it’s up to the legal system to find a cure for this plague of sexual depravity. The toughest part of investigations into the child sex trades is finding victims willing to come forward and testify against their captors. Many, from poorer countries, know that harm will befall their families if they speak out. Others are simply deported back to their home countries never to be heard from again. A few are murdered to send a message out to anyone else thinking about talking to the authorities. The child sex trafficking business is a multimillion dollar business similar to the drug trade and, in a world where people are murdered for pennies on the dollar, most involved in the business don’t want to talk. The question of the day: Is the judicial system in this country doing enough?