Last Wednesday the FBI Sacramento office announced the recovery of a 14-year-old girl on Feb. 3, who had been missing since January.
Turns out she was being trafficked for sex.
According to the press release, FBI undercover agents discovered her while she traveling on light rail with Sean Daniels, 26, who was arrested on allegations of trafficking a child, pimping, pandering and other sex crimes.
It’s becoming a common story; a young teenager with an older male traveling in plain sight to conduct sex trafficking. The business arrangements for the client to have sex with the young girl have been made through the internet and mobile connectivity. And often the girls start out as willing participants seeking love and affection, convinced by the crushing pressure of the internet and social media that they are primarily valued as sexual objects.
Jenny Williamson is the founder of Courage Worldwide, headquartered in Placer County, serving the Sacramento region and Tanzania, Africa, to raise awareness, prevent and rescue girls sold into sex slavery.
She knows all too well the evil nature of this saga playing out in USA neighborhoods and around the world.
According to Williamson, big social venues like the Super Bowl boost the demand for sex trafficking of women and children. “I am a football fan,” she said. “This is not about football or World Cup soccer [which also attracts child sex trafficking]. The truly sad part is there is even a demand for children to be sold for sex.”
Williamson wants people to understand that this is a demand problem and it is more profitable than trafficking guns and drugs. “People are recycled,” she said. “They are exploited and sold repeatedly with a daily quota to meet. The child’s body is treated as a commodity.”
According the Williamson the average age a child is recruited into sex trafficking is 12 years. “And then once they are caught up in it, it is very difficult to walk away.” She further explains that when minor children in the sex trade turn 18 years old, they are no longer considered a “victim,” because the presumption is that they remain involved by choice.
“The problem is that by the time children sold into the sex trade are the age of majority, they are bonded with their pimps into the lifestyle. They have grown up in abuse and being exploited has become their new norm,” she said. “Hope dies in people. It is a type of brainwashing where the girls are told that their only value is for sex and that this is what they want.”
Williamson also stressed that the internet and social media makes it easier for pimps to recruit girls who start out bonding emotionally on-line and then meet in person. The misguided infatuation and affection girls may feel from an on-line exchange and attention becomes woven into the lie along with threats of violence and death. “That’s why young women and girls can be brought to big venues like the Super Bowl and not try to escape,” she said. “She has come to believe that she cannot survive without her pimp.”
Even more disturbing is Williamson’s description of the typical client: “He is white, in his 50’s, has a family and goes to church,” she said. “We need to educate this population of men to understand that they are doing harm to girls who are underage and in bondage,” she said. “It is not like they are earning money to pay the college tuition.”
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