The current estimate is that 293,000 American children are at risk of becoming victims of sexual exploitation.
Opal Singleton, an advocate for Child Sex Trafficking in California, said in an interview that 60 percent of kids in prostitution came from foster care systems. She added that 80 percent of homeless kids were from foster homes.
“The root cause of all is the absence of love in the family and the need for quick money,” said Singleton.
In California alone, The Los Angeles Times reported that more than 59,000 children end up in California’s foster care system.
Singleton stated that kids go from home to home with no established tight family relationship. She added that as their bodies developed during puberty, they became helplessly vulnerable to sexual abuse charges.
A report stated that 57 percent of the girls involved in prostitution were sexually abused and nearly 30 percent reported sexual abuse by someone in the family.
Singleton mentioned that foster kids wouldn’t want to talk about their bad sexual experiences because of the shame-blame behavior factor.
“It is psychologically traumatic; they have very low self- esteem, they have no one to look up to, and they just carry the pain of self-pity in deep silence. Most kids eventually run away and face the challenges of the streets gullibly’ said Singleton.
Singleton reported that one out of three teens on the streets would be lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. The average age a child enters the “life” in California is 13. She added that 72 percent of child prostitutes in California are American citizens.
The Polaris Project reported that child prostitutes could be expected to have sex 20-48 times a day.
“These are our people…these are our young kids…and they are faced with the very difficult choices in life, and they need immense help from us, and the government,” said Singleton.
Opal Singleton is the President and CEO of MillionKids.Org, a non-profit organization against Child Sex Trafficking.
© 2014 Joe Quintana