Law & Order: SVU Brings Attention to Sex Trafficking in U.S.

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A History on Sex Trafficking

While you may be able to turn off your television to escape the reality the fictional characters experienced on SVU, millions of men, women and children do not have that luxury.  They continue to live the life of Micah and Carly day in and day out.

The United Nations uses three categories to define trafficking: The Act, The Means, The Purpose.  In other words, the what, the how, and the why.

There are a number of ways someone can be brought into a sex trade.  The Administration for Children and Families points out people can be sold by their parents, like Micah and Carly; boyfriend; or husbands.  Victims could be promised a job elsewhere, or even kidnapped and sold into the sex trade.

An ABC article points out that in 2006, and estimated 100,000 children and young women trafficked in the U.S. with the average age being 11 years old.  In a recent report by the U.S. government, the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report (for the full 60 page report, click here), the numbers may be closer to 27 million victims worldwide.

One appalling story after another.  They all share many scary similarities as the SVU episode described previously.  Starved.  Beaten.  Raped. And it’s closer to home than we think.

Most of the victims forced into sex trafficking in our country are “U.S. citizens, or lawful permanent residents,”  according to Sarah Vardaman in an Examiner article.

So now that you know how close to reality that SVU episode is, it’s not quite so easy to just turn off the flatscreen television, is it?

But what can you do?

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