Sex trafficking is one of the fastest growing industries within the United States. Children have been rescued by ordinary people, who are vigilant and can access their immediate environment , and deduce when an individual is in danger.
Genise recounts a story of a woman who saved a teenage girl, after witnessing her strange interaction with the adult male who brought her into a saloon to get her nails done. The woman discreetly passed the girl a note saying “Do you need help?” That note saved her life.
What is child sexual exploitation
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. Sexual abuse may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside clothing. It may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in the production of sexual images, forcing children to look at sexual images or watch sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet)
Like all forms of child sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation can also occur through the use of technology!
- Child sexual exploitation affects any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years, including 16 and 17 year olds who can legally consent to have sex;
- Can still be abuse even if the sexual activity appears consensual;
- Can include both contact (penetrative and non-penetrative acts) and non-contact sexual activity;
- Takes place in person or via technology, or a combination of both;
- Involves force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may, or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence;
- Occurs without the child or young person’s immediate knowledge (through others copying videos or images they have created and posting on social media, for example);
- Perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and children or adults. The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time, and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse; and
- is typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the abuse. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.
Potential indicators of child sexual exploitation
- Acquisition of money, clothes, mobile phones etc without plausible explanation;
- Gang-association and/or isolation from peers/social networks;
- Exclusion or unexplained absences from school, college or work;
- Leaving home/care without explanation and persistently going missing or returning late;
- Excessive receipt of texts/phone calls;
- Returning home under the influence of drugs/alcohol;
- Inappropriate sexualised behaviour for age/sexually transmitted infections;
- Evidence of/suspicions of physical or sexual assault;
- Relationships with controlling or significantly older individuals or groups;
- Multiple callers (unknown adults or peers);
- Frequenting areas known for sex work;
- Concerning use of internet or other social media;
- Increasing secretiveness around behaviours; and
- Self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being
Vulnerabilities: experiences that might make children more susceptible to child sexual exploitation
Having a prior experience of neglect, physical and/or sexual abuse;
Lack of a safe/stable home environment, now or in the past (domestic violence or parental substance misuse, mental health issues or criminality, for example);
• Recent bereavement or loss;
• Social isolation or social difficulties;
• Absence of a safe environment to explore sexuality;
• Economic vulnerability;
• Homelessness or insecure accommodation status;
• Connections with other children and young people who are being sexually
• Family members or other connections involved in adult sex work;
• Being in care (particularly those in residential care and those with interrupted care histories); and
• Sexual identity.
Sexual exploitation can have links to other types of crime.
Child Trafficking | Domestic abuse | Sexual violence in intimate relationships |
Grooming (including online grooming) | Abusive images of children and their distribution | Drugs-related offences | Gang-related activity | Immigration-related offences | and Domestic servitude |
Genise Shelton With Dr. Wright On Facebook Live: Sex Trafficking.
Our Children’s Keeper Foundation: Bring Our Children Home 5K & Family Fun Day .
At Our Children’s Keeper Foundation, we are dedicated to “BEING A VOICE FOR THE MISSING & VOICELESS” by providing a platform of hope for the overwhelming number of missing persons of color. Together, we can and will make a difference and bring Our Children home!