In 2006 Shared Hope International received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to perform field research on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST)—the sex trafficking of American children. The National Report is the culmination of ten field assessments conducted in targeted locations in the United States, providing a comprehensive understanding of child sex trafficking across America. This unprecedented report reveals the starling reality that American children are being recruited from our neighborhoods and sold on our streets!
The National Report found misidentification of victims to be the primary barrier to properly addressing America’s trafficked children. Consequently, this misidentification often leads to the criminalization of victims, barring them from receiving proper treatment and care. In fact, in nearly every location American child victims of sex trafficking are being arrested for the crime committed against them while their abusers walk free. In addition, the study found a severe lack of appropriate protective and therapeutic shelters. Finally, the National Report emphasizes that although buyers are a critical in addressing the issue of child sex trafficking, buyers most often escape criminalization.
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