WARNING: Graphic Images
The website Backpage.com made tens of millions of dollars running “adult” classified ads for escorts and erotic services (many offering children). Faced with a Senate investigation, a grand jury inquiry in Arizona, and two federal suits in California, the site removed such ads earlier this year [1A].
That has not stopped the trafficking of children.
Labels like “Amber Alert” and “Lolita” (intended to signal the involvement of children in sexual activity) may have been replaced with phrases like “100% young” and “oh daddy can I be your candy” [1B]. But ads like those under investigation continue to run in the dating section of the site, as well as elsewhere online.
Children in the Sex Trade
The majority of children involved in the sex trade come from poor and dysfunctional families. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 35% of the underage prostitutes charged nationally are African American. In some geographic areas, that percentage is even higher.
While it is uncertain how many children are forced into prostitution annually, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates there was an 800% increase between 2010 -2015 due to the increased sale of children for sex online.
“Scared and cold,
first night on the streets
Your body hurts
from your head to your feet…
every penny gotta spend
Make a wrong move…Boom –
your life comes to an end
-Daniel, 16 y.o., “Run Away” 
According to the National Crime Information Center, there are some 435,342 children currently missing in the United States. While custody disputes account for a large percentage of the children reported missing, the suspicion by law enforcement is that the remaining children – at least those still alive – are being trafficked.
So many children have gone missing in the nation’s capital that the black members of Congress have sought assistance from the Justice Dept. . Ten children of color disappeared in a single two-week period. Residents of the District of Columbia are not satisfied that this was a statistical anomaly .
Few areas collect statistics on the men supporting the sex trade. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, however, instructs its members that “dates” or johns are primarily married, educated, white men.
One young prostitute was lured by a couple of Facebook acquaintances to a “party” that turned into a gang rape. She was 14 y.o. at the time. From beatings and more gang rapes, she learned to obey her pimps, many of whom found her through Backpage [1C].
The statement that company issued when it took down its adult ads read, in part: “The shutdown of Backpage’s adult classified advertising is an assault on the First Amendment.”
No one has yet put a price on the assault against defenseless children.
[1A][1B][1C] New York Times, “Backpage’s Sex Ads Are Gone. Child Trafficking? Hardly.” by Timothy Willimas, 3/11/17, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/us/backpage-ads-sex-trafficking.html?partner=msft_msn&_r=0 .
 Associated Press, “Black lawmakers call on FBI to help on missing black girls” by Jesse Holland, 3/23/17, http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/The-Congressional-Black-Caucus-is-calling-on-Attorney-General-Jeff-Sessions-and-the-FBI-to-help-in-the-search-for-missing-black-girls-in-Washington-D-C-following-alarm-behind-increased/id-ce3e97256b554c9f860d53b520622ab7.
 USA Today, “Where are they? Outrage over perceived increase in missing black, Latina girls in DC”, 3/24/17, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/03/24/where-are-they-outrage-over-missing-black-latina-girls-washington-dc-police/99573222/.
 Sometimes God Has A Kid’s Face by Sr. Mary Rose McGeady, former President of Covenant House (2010).
FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com
16 responses to “Trafficked, Part 1”
Amen! I pray for exposure of perversion in the land.. and justice instead of a blind eye.. Thank you for sharing..
Thank you for stopping by, Mary.
Something that bothers me almost every day.
I felt intense grief as I read this Anna, no doubt so does God knowing His young ones are being violated.
I’m sorry Anna for the need to have to say this but I do not like Nudity promoted on Blogs for any reason, it’s not needed and it’s low key Porn regardless of what it’s called. We remember nakedness was covered by God after the fall not exploited but Carnal man does exploit it both in Art and when advertising to promote the flesh but why you are doing it Anna I do not know but it is offensive to me and no doubt to some others.
In Christ’s Name – Anne.
I’m glad you brought up the point about nudity, Anne. I’ll tell you why I chose to use this image. As far as subject matter, it is, of course, linked to the post. More than that, it conveys in a way that words alone cannot the violation of these children. They are — literally and figuratively — stripped of everything.
So many of us who were sexually violated as children wrestle with shame. Whatever shame there is associated with nakedness belongs not to the victims, but their abusers. That, too, was something I wanted to emphasize.
God made us with these bodies. I believe it is our right to reclaim them.
Anna you make a reasonable and fair point here with regard to the comment Anne has made. I personally was not offended by nudity in your sadly distressing but informative post. I don’t think there is any shame connected to the human form – we are a beautiful creation. That there are those who by abuse introduce shame, embarrassment and fear into the minds and lives of abuse victims is wrong and by so doing gives us a sense of unworthiness. When we are offended by nakedness, then to my mind, we are ashamed of God’s creation.
Of course, pornographic images are offensive – that’s not the issue here. The issue is that child sex abuse does involve stripping a child of their human rights (not to be manipulated and controlled and violated when they are unable to protect and defend themselves) and trying to cover it up is offensive to me, not using a nude body to illustrate an important point.
Thank you Anna for raising this.
Thank you, Marie. You expressed this much more eloquently than I. It was certainly not my intention to offend anyone. Others are entitled to their views.
A very interesting and informative
piece of writing Anna.
But oh so sad.
Yes, a tragic topic.
Incredibly sad Anna…there should be more doing something about it hey..
But something is better than nothing
Our priorities are off. God, I know, has not forgotten these children.
Amen and amen. Anna. No HE has not.
Have a very nice day dear, thank you for always sharing great post
You, too! Kisses, A. ❤