This is the reality, and why the lies are not harmless.
“In reality, child trafficking in the U.S. doesn’t look like a bunch of Hollywood and D.C. elites performing satanic rituals on children they stole from suburban playgrounds. Instead, kids who are sexually exploited are often poor, children of color, immigrants, or some combination of the three, and they’ve often been in the child welfare system or run away from home. In 2018, 1 in 7 kids who were reported as runaways to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely victims of child sex trafficking, according to UNICEF.
“We see minors who are in a vulnerable position — maybe they’ve run away from home, maybe they’ve been kicked out of their home — and then engage in sex acts for money in order to have food to eat and a place to stay,” said Jean Bruggeman, executive director of Freedom Network USA, an anti-trafficking group. “Almost never is there any kind of abduction or solely a use of physical force or locking people away. It’s generally much more subtle coercion.””
So great that we are paying more attention to the problem, but the details we are sharing of the problem are all wrong. We’re not saving suburban kids who’ve been swept away in some worldwide conspiracy, because those aren’t the kids being trafficked. In reality, this is happening over and over in all the places we don’t want to look, to kids who are falling through the cracks, mostly because we have already been ignoring them.
And here we are, ignoring them again, in favor of something that isn’t real.