Info 101, child prostitution

I wrote about child prostitution in Info 101: Child Prostitution

Let me state a couple of basic principles before beginning this article

.1.      There is always time for kindness

2.      Think small, not small minded. Focus on your street, your neighborhood, your city and your state. We need more people to work on making their neighborhood better.

3.      There are no throwaway children or people.

A couple of recent stories started me thinking about child prostitution. Recently, there was a story in the Seattle Times about the teen victims of prostitution We are seeing the convergence of gang culture and the victimization of vulnerable teens. I have written about gangs and teen domestic violence in prior articles. Although, many theorize the defeat of Mayor Nickels is due in large part to the inadequate snow response or the “Chicago style” versus the “Seattle style.” Let me posit another theory, which is, on his watch gangs seemed to have mushroomed on the Seattle scene. As I have said before, I am a “bus chick” and I ride the bus all over Seattle. Third Avenue, the main bus corridor is after 9 p.m. an open air bazaar of any vice you could care to indulge in. One of the things that makes a city livable is the feeling of safety that most folks must have to want to live and do business within the city’s borders….

The Problem of Child Prostitution

U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division ° Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) lists two FAQ about child prostitution

Q. If teenagers are voluntarily engaging in prostitution to earn money, why do you call them victims of crime? Aren’t they criminals themselves?
A. Prostitution is illegal in most places in the United States and minors who take money for sex are usually taking part in that illegal activity; nevertheless they are also victims of crime. The majority of minors who become involved in prostitution are runaway or thrown away children from abusive or otherwise dysfunctional homes. They are often lured into prostitution by sophisticated criminals who convince them not only that they will earn money to survive but also that they will be taken care of and have the secure loving environment that they lacked at home. These promises are often honored only in the breach – pimps take the money a child earns on the streets and pimps engage in severe physical abuse to build a relationship of dependency.
Q. I recently read a Newsweek article that said that middle class children are becoming involved in prostitution for pure financial gain. Is that true?
A. A recent study by Richard Estes of the University of Pennsylvania indicated a trend that children from stable middle class homes are becoming involved in prostitution to earn money for luxury goods. The Newsweek article profiled a 17 year-old girl from Minnesota who was from a typical middle class home and had engaged in prostitution. At this time we cannot judge whether this behavior is a trend, but we can state that the majority of children who are victims of prostitution are not from stable homes. [Newsweek is linked below]

CEOS has the following links to additional information:

·         More information on: Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors

·         More information on: Federal Efforts to Combat Interstate Sex Trafficking of Minors

·         More information on: Trafficking and Sex Tourism

·         More information on: Child Sex Tourism

·         More information on: Trafficking and Sex Tourism FAQs



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