A recent story in The Daily Signal offers both disturbing facts and helpful suggestions in regard to the horrific problem of child sex trafficking.
Penned by Emma Waters of The Heritage Foundation, the op-ed indicates that child sex trafficking in the U.S. typically occurs online or at truck stops, hotels, and motels. The average age for a child to enter the trafficking industry is 12 to 14 years of age. Often, trafficking victims are girls who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and have become runaways. Traffickers usually know their victims.
Waters asserts that “child trafficking is aggravated by four main factors: the porous southern border, predatory social media use, pornography, and broken families.” Watson adds the following:
- Of the hundreds of unaccompanied minors that customs agents apprehend each day near the southern border of the United States, an estimated 60% will become victims of traffickers or cartels.
- Traffickers use social media platforms to groom potential victims. According to United Against Human Trafficking, an estimated “‘55% of victims of U.S. sex trafficking aged 7 to 11 are recruited through social media apps and websites.”
- As of 2016, “the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found that 86% of sex trafficking victims were in the care of social services when they went missing.”
- Kids who live with single mothers and unrelated males are 11 times more likely than other kids to be physically and sexually abused.
Solving the ongoing southern border crisis, limiting predators’ online access to children, breaking our societal addiction to pornography, and rebuilding America’s broken family structures is a very tall order—especially in a divided nation. With our Lord, however, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).