Today on the NPR radio show, “Where We Live” the commission of DCF in Connecticut spoke at length about human trafficking in our state. Joette Katz is putting together a public awareness campaign that educates public and safety officials on how to identify and treat human trafficking minors as victims not prostitutes.
Believe it or not, there are over 100 CT children that have been bought and sold for sex in the past 5 years. This may seem like a small number – until you consider how many cases of human trafficking go un-reported. Its a number that can’t even be calculated – like cockroaches. When you see one – you know there are 100 more. Sadly these 100 children are a mere sample of a much bigger population.
By now, you have gotten the memo that this is a topic close to my heart. I’ve spoke about it many times and will continue to. I’m very happy to see more attention being paid to this subject. Its an uncomfortable one, that’s for sure. In my experience people are still in the dark about the severity of human trafficking. Katz mentions this is because we don’t want to think this sort of thing could happen to the kids in our own backyards. But it does. Many girls are sought out, groomed and then used over and over for the purpose of profit. Katz talks about a fund raising event she held in Mystic, CT. At the event, there were a couple of girls helping out and singing to get patrons to participate. A few men approached the girls with business cards telling them how talented they were and would they be interested in furthering their “singing” career. This is how it starts:
He was charming, showered her with attention and offered her drugs. She had sex with him. Before long, one night turned into a month. She considered him her boyfriend. He encouraged her to drink and gave her drugs and began to bring her to the homes of his friends, ordering her to have sex with them. The process soon became a routine, as the girl was shuttled house to house in a haze to have sex with various men. Her “boyfriend” received the payment. She was never left alone. And she was never allowed to leave.