We are starting to hear more and more about the number of girls being trafficked in the US – as young as seventh grade. How can this be going on you ask? Because traffickers are proactively seeking vulnerable girls with family problems and low self-esteem. They befriend them, buy them fancy things, then the trap is sprung.
This story was just released by ABC News about a little seventh grade girl was sold for sex in Portland, Oregon. Listen to the account and to her words:
“The first time “Katie” danced at a strip club, she was 13, and in the seventh grade. Not long before, the Oregon girl had gone on an ordinary outing to a mall in downtown Portland. She met some boys there and they invited her to a party in the suburbs. At the party, Katie met an older boy she would begin to date.”
“He bought me a lot of things, like shoes, outfits and purses and stuff like that,” said Katie, of J, who she began to think of as her boyfriend.
For those of us with young girls, this needs to be a wake up call. According to detectives this is happening everyday in our country.
“They look for them in the malls, the parks, on MySpace, Facebook,” Geiger said. “(A)nd they look for them in the schools and walking downtown. They strike up a friendship with them.”
There is a definite system involved. They lie to the girls, tell them they love them, and then ask them for a big favor – just one time. It’s a psychological game of brainwashing that’s occuring and these young girls are too young to win:
“Before long, J told her he was having financial trouble, and he asked her if she would she dance, “just once,” at a strip club, she said. Katie, who had only ever worn high heels to church and on special occasions, soon was forced into working as a stripper and a street prostitute six days a week, she said.”
Girls from broken homes are particularly vulnerable. With little parental involvement, there’s little way for an adult to know what’s going on. Read what happened to this single mother:
“I was a single mom working really late … making six figures,” she said. “My daughter was getting A’s and B’s. Playing basketball. … She had a good life, a good family, she didn’t need anything.”
But Roberts’ daughter, then 16, met a guy on Portland’s subway system. They “dated” and he convinced to her run away and live with him, Roberts said.
Soon, said Roberts, “She was walking the streets.”
What do we do about this evil affecting our city streets and our children? We pray, we get educated on the issue, and collectively, we stay awake and get involved. There are local Human Trafficking Task Forces in our cities. Look them up on Google or call your local police department to get involved. Last, if you know of girls who come from difficult family situations, get involved in their life. Open your home, befriend them, truly exercise “loving your neighbor as yourself.” You could be saving a life.
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