A few years ago, I watched the documentary, “Very Young Girls.” It featured the stories of young girls in New York City that had been sex trafficked by pimps. Some of the girls were as young as 12 years old. What surprised me most in the film was that instead of trying to save these children, in many cases authorities treated them like criminals. There was even a prosecutor trying to get one of the girls punished with jail time. Here was a child victim of sex trafficking, sobbing in the court room and the state was trying to send her to jail. Instead of advocating for rehabilitation and protection, the legal system had turned against her.
Though many organizations have tried to tackle this issue, sex trafficking is still a major problem. This is especially the case in the Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC areas.Tina Frundt has provided tips for everyone in the community to help fight against sex trafficking and how to best protect our children.
She is the Founder and Executive Director of Courtney’s House, a non-profit dedicated to helping children exploited by sex trafficking for commercial gain. Tina is also a survivor.
Here is what communities need to know about sex trafficking:
Accept that your community is vulnerable. Victims are rich and poor. From the city and suburbs. Boys and girls. We must all look for the signs.
Businesses need to step up. Everyday victims pass through clothing stores, nail salons, hair salons and hotels. When businesses act, victims can be saved.
Don’t wait, call! Calling or texting a tip hotline is anonymous. It will never trace back to you. Call sex trafficking hotline 1-888-373-7888 or text BFREE (23733).
Ultimately, what children exploited by sex trafficking need the most is support – not just from family and friends but their entire community.
The sexual exploitation of youth is a problem in many parts of the world. Read my article, “What Really Happens on Vacation” to learn more about this issue and how you can help.