CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING: WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?
I am nowhere near being an expert on child sex trafficking, in fact, this is a whole new world to me but I have learned a lot in a short amount of time. One of the questions I get asked the most is…
“WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?”
What I learned since starting this non-profit in 2016 is that there are several scenarios when it comes to children being trafficked:
THE PARENTS ARE INVOLVED:
Parents are selling their children for money, oftentimes to pay for a drug habit or even for food or rent. Yes, this is happening in America.
And surprisingly, some of these parents were at one time, affluent, and then they get hooked on drugs (oftentimes pain pills).
We also met a male survivor at a conference that was trafficked by his father who was a doctor and not addicted to drugs. Well educated, affluent, upstanding member of society (or so people thought).
THE PARENTS HAVE NO IDEA:
Their child is still living at home but may have fallen into the wrong group of friends, gone to a party, or even to a friend’s home after school and are raped. They were most likely filmed during the rape and then threatened afterward to comply. This threat could be to physically harm them or harm their family.
The traffickers may threaten to share photos or videos of them naked and/or having sex online for the entire world to see. Once those videos and photos are posted online, they are out there FOREVER and into the hands of evil people all across the globe.
Parents might suspect drug use but would probably never think that their child is being trafficked.
THE CHILD IS A RUNAWAY:
This most likely happens because they are preyed upon online. This also happens by someone they know convincing them to run away. 1 in 5 runaways will be trafficked.
UNSTABLE OR ABSENT PARENTS OR LOW SELF-ESTEEM:
Kids in the foster care system are at high risk of being trafficked because of their need for protection, affirmation, and love. But that’s also true for children in homes with a solid foundation. Think of all the girls and boys online looking for “likes” on their photos and over-sharing with strangers in order to gain attention.
KIDS UNDER A LOT OF PRESSURE TO BE PERFECT:
Stress does a lot to a child and the stress of perfect grades can drive them make really poor decisions.
WHAT DO WE DO TO HELP FIGHT CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING AND HELP PARENTS KNOW WHAT SIGNS TO LOOK FOR?
We have a resource page that we will continually add to as we get more information.
One way you can help spread awareness is by sharing this and other beLydia posts. We don’t sugarcoat this information for a reason: the more people who know, the more likely we can prevent sex trafficking.
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Retreat and Conferences or for our Awareness events and program.