Helping children recover from the effects of sex trafficking is delicate and complex.
The Full Story
According to the International Labour Organization, more than 4 million people worldwide are sexually exploited each year. Twenty-five percent (roughly 900,000 to 1.2 million) of these modern slaves are children. Others report that one in six victims is under the age of 12, and a child is sold for sex as many as 30–40 times a day.
These statistics are devastating.
Sex trafficking is defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act.”
Helping children recover from the effects of sex trafficking is delicate and complex. Children benefit most from having a nurturing and safe relationship with a practitioner. Trauma-informed services provide services specific to the special needs of survivors. The US Department of Health and Human Services concluded that “alternatives to traditional therapies, especially those that build self-esteem, empowerment, and re-connection with self, are considered important adjunct services for this population.” With this purpose in mind, Lotus Rising International was created.
Child Sex Trafficking in the US
Seventy-seven percent of trafficking victims are exploited within their country of residence.
Human trafficking cases have been reported in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories.
Eighty-three percent of victims in confirmed US sex-trafficking incidents were identified as US citizens.
Twenty-seven percent of sex trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline number were instances of familial trafficking.
Child Sex Trafficking Globally
Sexual exploitation is by far the most commonly identified form of human trafficking (79 percent).
One in four victims of modern slavery is a child.
The US Department of State explains, “Because traffickers dehumanize and objectify their victims, victims’ innate sense of power, visibility, and dignity often become obscured.” Victims of human trafficking can experience devastating psychological effects during and after their trafficking experience, including posttraumatic stress, difficulty in relationships, depression, memory loss, anxiety, fear, guilt, shame, and other severe forms of mental trauma—which, as the CDC has pointed out, are similar to the consequences of sexual violence.
Many victims also experience physical injuries. Those who have been sexually exploited are often abused by their traffickers and customers. They may be raped, beaten, and subjected to abuse over a long period of time. These victims also face a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, infections, diabetes, cancer, and other illnesses. A lack of proper medical care allows these conditions to spread and worsen—often affecting an individual’s health permanently.
Individuals who are being trafficked can quickly become isolated from friends, family, and other social circles. This may be due to their personal feelings of guilt and shame or because they’ve been relocated and now live far away from their community. Victims can then become isolated and withdrawn, ultimately losing contact with most people.