A report from MySanAntonio.com this week has characterized child sex trafficking as a “huge problem” in the state of Texas and around the country. But reports of this type have been criticized in the past for being exaggerated and misrepresenting the numbers. While any single case of child sex trafficking is serious and is definitely a problem, the truth is that we don’t know how big the problem actually is.
According to the report, there are “300,000 American children lured into sex trafficking each year,” 25% of which live in Texas. Looking into this figure, we find a report from International Crisis Aid revealing that both a University of Pennsylvania study and the U.S. Dept. of State estimated that about 300,000 children are at riskof being lured into child sex trafficking.
These at risk youth include run always and abandoned children, often teens. Do all of these kids end up in the sex industry? Not likely. But their vulnerability does make them “at risk”.
This could be an example of a statistic being used in a misleading manner, whether intentional (for sensationalism’s sake), or not. But the fact is, unless there is another report proving 300,000 kids are involved in sex trafficking, the number was likely gleaned from these “estimated” reports of “at risk” children and is not indicative of the true number of children involved in sex trafficking.
If numbers are exaggerated, does it mean child sex trafficking is not a problem? Not at all. If a vulnerable child is trapped in the sex trade, it’s definitely a real problem.
According to MySanAntonio.com, the majority of children within the trafficking system are girls (2/3) and the average age is about 12. These kids are often poor, teen runaways, or in other ways at risk for being scooped up into the underworld of sex trafficking. They are raped, molested, traded, and exploited.
The ire that exists for sex offenders (and even suspected sex offenders) is there because most people can’t stand the thought of a child being hurt, especially in this manner.
This means that those men (and less often women) who are accused of sex offenses will face extreme disdain not only from the police who arrest them, but from everyone in the criminal justice system, the public, and even potentially people they consider to be their friends and family.
If you are charged with a sex offense, we may be able to help. Contact our offices today to discuss the details of your case and the options you have.