Six-Month Report: Domestically Sex-Trafficked Minors on the Rise in Key States

Six-Month Report: Domestically Sex-Trafficked Minors on the Rise in Key States

Internet classifieds are hub of adolescent sex trade in New York, Michigan and Minnesota…
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ — As Deborah Richardson, chief program officer for Women’s Funding Network, is testifying today in Washington, D.C., before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security about the issue of “Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking,” the results of a new study – also released today – indicate Internet classifieds were the predominate hub for trafficking young girls in three states over six months. The ongoing study, commissioned by Women’s Funding Network (WFN), also finds more girls were exploited in August than February of this year.

Conducted by The Schapiro Group, an independent, third-party research firm, the study seeks to quantify the number of adolescent girls victimized by domestic sex trafficking in New York, Michigan and Minnesota, where statewide efforts are ramping up to stop this crime under the leadership of WFN’s local member funds – The New York Women’s Foundation, Michigan Women’s Foundation and Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.

“Our research is imperative to understanding the pervasiveness of this atrocious, abusive crime,” says Chris Grumm, CEO and president of Women’s Funding Network. “It objectively validates that Internet classifieds, without question, are the leading source for criminals to find girls for sex in these states. Understanding the hubs where criminals congregate – and the scope of their victims – drives the development of geographic-specific strategies that give girls access to rehabilitative services while taking sex traffickers off our streets.”

The total number of girls trafficked through Internet classifieds and escort services increased in double-digit percentages in the three states studied over six months:

•New York: 20% increase
•Michigan: 36% increase; and
•Minnesota: 55% increase.

The study included the most popular outlets for domestic minor sex trafficking – the Internet and escort services – and revealed state-specific insights. For example:

•In New York:
•3,454 girls were domestically sex trafficked in August – up from 2,880 in February (20% increase)
•3,415 girls were trafficked through ads posted on Internet classifieds in August – up from 2,830 in February (21% increase)
•Monthly domestic sex trafficking in New York is more pervasive than the state’s annually reported incidents of teen suicide (54 instances); self-inflicted injuries (1,222 instances); or women of all ages killed by breast cancer (2,715 instances)

•In Michigan:
•159 girls were domestically sex trafficked in August – up from 117 in February (36% increase)
•142 girls were trafficked through ads posted on Internet classifieds in August – up from 102 in February (40% increase)
•Only 20% of girls advertised on Internet classifieds in Michigan still appeared in ads two weeks later, which was the lowest “tenure” rate of domestically sex trafficked minors among the three states studied
•Monthly domestic sex trafficking in Michigan is more pervasive than the state’s annually reported incidents of suicide among females under age 25 (31 instances); infants who died from SIDS (46 instances); or females under age 25 killed in car accidents (106 instances)

•In Minnesota:
◦124 girls were domestically sex trafficked in August – up from 80 in February (55% increase)
◦112 girls were trafficked through ads posted on Internet classifieds in August – up from 68 in February (65% increase)
◦The percentage of girls advertised on Internet classifieds increased most dramatically in Minnesota among the states studied during this six-month period
◦Monthly domestic sex trafficking in Minnesota is more pervasive than the state’s annually reported incidents of teen girls who died by suicide, homicide and car accidents (29 instances combined); infants who died from SIDS (6 instances); or women of all ages murdered in one year (37 instances)

“While each state has its own unique situation, this crime is nationwide and deserves national attention,” Grumm says. “Action at the federal and state levels, combined with unwavering support from advocates and everyday citizens, ensures our children are protected from criminals seeking to profit from their innocence.”

About the Study: Adolescent Girls in the United States Sex Trade – Tracking Results for August 2010

The August tracking study is designed to count adolescent girls using scientific probability methods when they are encountered through two sources: ads on Internet classifieds websites and escort services. These are two of the main sources through which johns find girls. The August results are part of a multi-year quarterly tracking study that began in February 2010.

For the counts, researchers called, tracked and calculated all escort service listings, in addition to methodically evaluating placed ads featuring young girls on popular Internet sites being used by johns looking for commercial sex with adolescent girls.

About Women’s Funding Network

As a global network and a movement for social justice, Women’s Funding Network accelerates women’s leadership and invests in solving critical social problems — from poverty to global security — by bringing together the financial power, influence and voices of more than 160 women’s funds. Learn more at http://www.womensfundingnetwork.org.

About The Schapiro Group

The Schapiro Group is a strategic research and consulting firm based in Atlanta that serves a variety of clients, including corporate, government and nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit http://www.schapirogroup.com.

SOURCE Women’s Funding Network

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