The Problem

The Problem 2019-01-19T20:32:50+00:00

According to federal law enforcement and social services, the safety needs of victims of sex trafficking are first priority. Safe housing is the most important need immediately following recovery. The problem is that there is an extreme lack of safe housing specifically for minors recovered from sex trafficking in Colorado. Survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation often have complex needs that require trauma-informed counseling and services that address their specific trauma.

According to Jefferson County and Arapahoe County social services, there are young girls in Denver that will not be alive in 1 year if there isn’t an intervention of safe housing and services for them. What would be causing their death, sex trafficking. Right now in Denver there are 300 identified pimps and those pimps have multiple young girls that they are exploiting and trafficking. Denver pimps can make $100,000 a year off exploiting just one minor. The common age of entry into the commercial sex industry is 12-14 years old nationwide and 90% of these victims have a past history of sexual abuse. These are not statistics from overseas, but right here in our own communities.

Minor victims of sex trafficking rescued by the FBI in Denver – year 2016
0 years
National common age of entry into the commercial sex industry
Sex trafficking survivors with a past history of sexual abuse

What is sex trafficking?
Sex trafficking occurs when people are forced or coerced into the commercial sex trade against their will. Child sex trafficking includes any child involved in commercial sex. Sex traffickers frequently target vulnerable people with histories of abuse and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry.

Does sex trafficking happen in the USA?
Domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST), which is the commercial sexual exploitation of children through buying, selling, or trading their sexual services, is happening in the United States. Forms of DMST include prostitution, pornography, stripping and other sexual acts.
At least 100,000 American children are being exploited through pornography or prostitution every year.

What makes someone vulnerable to sex trafficking in the USA?
Age. Age is the primary factor of vulnerability. Pre-teen or adolescent girls are more susceptible to the calculated advances, deception, and manipulation tactics used by traffickers/pimps – no youth is exempt from falling prey to these tactics. Traffickers target locations youth frequent such as schools, malls, parks, bus stops, shelters and group homes. Runaway or homeless youth as well as those with a history of physical and sexual abuse have an increased risk of being trafficked.