As you can imagine, a child engaged in prostitution brings a difficult mix of issues to the table including, but not limited to, drug addiction, sexual abuse and homelessness. These are problems that need sustained attention.
"These children, as victims, need more trauma-recovery services," director Melinda Giovengo said. "There is evidence that a dedicated residential recovery program, with wraparound mental-health, chemical dependence, and educational and vocational services, provided by well-trained specialists, both on-site and in the community, can help young victims of commercial sexual exploitation in breaking free of the track."
There are fewer than 100 beds scattered across the nation dedicated to these children.
The $15 million proposal from senators Cornyn and Wyden is a cold, hard number. A fact.
Facts are important if you want to address underage prostitution.
Since 1997, the federal government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars for religious groups, prohibitionists and reformers all over the world to end human trafficking. Yet the proposed funds in SB 596 are the first dollars earmarked to put a roof over the head of victims in America.
By painting the sex-trafficking problem in this country as overwhelming, advocates may actually be hurting the children who truly need help.
Instead of helping victims, states are now passing legislation aimed at suppressing cabaret dancers. Instead of helping victims, prohibitionists are attacking pornography.
Facts are important because facts, not emotion, keep you focused.
How to reach senators Cornyn and Wyden:
SENATOR JOHN CORNYN
The Honorable John Cornyn
United States Senate
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-4303