Sexual Trauma Marks Girls’ Path to Juvenile Justice System

When Crystal Contreras was seven and living in Los Angeles, her mother put her in the care of someone Contreras saw as a father figure. Instead, he pressured the little girl for sex. For the next three years, until she was 10, the man raped her regularly, often creeping into the house at night without her mother’s knowledge. “I never said nothing to my mom,” Contreras told during an interview in July. “I was scared he would kill her or hurt her or hurt the animals that I had.

Human Trafficking is a Growing Global Scourge

This story was produced by New America Media and The San Francisco Public Press. 

On the 900-mile trek of mostly desert that stretches between Eritrea and Egypt, hunting for humans has become routine. Eritrean refugees who have fled their homeland fall prey to Bedouin or Egyptian traffickers. The refugees are held for ransom. Those with relatives abroad who can pay for their release might survive. Those who do not are often killed.

Teaching the Teachers How to Fight Sex Trafficking

Teachers can be the first line of defense against child sex trafficking, according to Maria Velikonja, a former FBI agent who has worked on human trafficking issues for the United Nations. During a two-day conference on sex trafficking at Georgia State University, in Atlanta, Velikonja spoke about the warning signs educators should watch for in their students and what teachers can do to keep their students safe. The conference, Not in Georgia: Combating Human Sex Trafficking, organized by the Georgia Department of Education, was the third part of an ongoing series of lectures on the sex trade. In a lecture titled, “Combating Human Sex Trafficking in Georgia: What Public School Educators Can Do,” Velikonja began by outlining some of the basics of sex trafficking for teachers. “What does a potential sex trafficking victim look like?” she asked the small crowd.

Celebrities Leverage Online Video to Combat Child Sex Trafficking

The Demi and Ashton (DNA) Foundation recently launched a high-profile online video initiative to fight child sex trafficking. The series "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" features major celebrity appearances by names like Bruce Willis, Justin Timberlake, and even Pete Cashmore - founder of the social media news site The interactive campaign encourages users to submit their own "Real Man" video - using the slogans "I am a Real Man" or "I prefer a Real Man" - and upload them to the DNA Foundation's Facebook fanpage. In the video above, Isaiah Mustafa (commonly known as "The Old Spice Guy") and Mashable founder Pete Cashmore tip their hat to the cause. According to the DNA Foundation, the videos - and the organization itself - aim "to raise awareness about child sex slavery, change the cultural stereotypes that facilitate this horrific problem, and rehabilitate innocent victims."

Sex Offender Registration Act Grant

Jurisdictions that are either developing or trying to enhance programs designed to implement the Sex Offender Registration Act may want to consider applying for a grant sponsored by The Office of Sex Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending and Trafficking (SMART) Support for Adam Walsh Implementation Grant Program. The Sex Offender Registration Act was put in place so it could provide a legal means to protect children from sexual exploitation and violent crime, prevent child abuse and child pornography and promote internet safety. It also helps build a comprehensive national system for the registration and notification of sex offenders.

Hundreds Lobby to End Child Prostitution in Georgia

It was a sea of black and purple in every direction on the steps of the state capitol Tuesday morning. An estimated 800 people showed up to join in the third annual “lobby day”

event to raise their voices — and overall awareness—about the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in Georgia. “When we first started this we were told that 10 people showing up at the state capitol was a groundswell; now we’re rocking it,” says CSEC activist Cheryl DeLuca Johnson. “The first time we did this we had 50 people come out; then the next year we had 100. Last year it was about 500.