Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Atlanta struggles to fight child prostitution
In this business, we cover a lot of great stories and a lot of really tragic ones. A story I just did on child prostitution falls into the latter category and -- I must say -- made me sick to my stomach.

Here's why: In the city of Atlanta, girls as young as 9 years old are being sold for sex, according to interviews with the girls themselves and the women who try to help them.

Pimps shower them with gifts, lure them away from their families, and then force them to have sex with strangers, often men old enough to be their father, for just $10 a trick.

Many of the pimps are drug dealers looking to make some extra money, according to LaKendra Baker, a counselor for current and former child prostitutes.

"You can only sell a dime bag once; you can sell a 10-year-old girl over and over again," Baker said.

Amazingly, pimping a minor wasn't even a felony in Georgia until 2001 - it was a misdemeanour. But even heavier penalties and some high-profile convictions are not enough to put pimps out of business.

How many have been arrested? I wish I could tell you, but none of the authorities in Atlanta could tell me how many pimps or underage prostitutes had been arrested, or how many pimps have been convicted.

What Fulton County District Attorney's office did tell us was this: "We need to be much more organized and we need many more resources to adequately combat the plague of child prostitution. While the Georgia law making pimping or pandering a child a felony has helped us secure tougher sentences, the shift from street activity to internet transactions has made it harder to get at the source of the problem."

LaKendra estimates that hundreds of girls are prostitutesof Atlanta, but she doesn't have a firm number.

With a crime so disturbing, you'd think somebody would keep a close track of the numbers.

Numbers on the national level are tough to come by too. According to the advocacy organization Standing Against Global Exploitation (SAGE), 200,000 to 300,000 children are involved in prostitution in the United States and an estimated 10 million children worldwide. But these are just rough estimates.

I spent some time in Atlanta with a girl named Shantique, who had been on the street for a time when she was twelve.

She said that her pimp, known as "Batman," tied her spread-eagled to the bed posts in the bedroom of a home he shared with his family. He threatened to kill her and her family if she didn't have sex with another pimp he knew. Sometimes he'd take her out and see if anyone was willing to pay to have sex with her.

Luckily her aunt found out where she was and got her home. But other girls aren't so lucky. Some of them stay on the street for years.

Shantique is now 19 years old and a freshman in college. She struggles with what she went through, but is getting good grades. She's also counseling young girls about how to stay off the street.
Posted By Randi Kaye, CNN Correspondent: 1:26 PM ET
Hi Randi,
What are the answers to this problem? I think society as a whole cares and doesn't want this life for anyone of any age. However, it keeps going on and on and the horror stories keep getting worse. I would say that police, parents, teachers, the public and yes, former victims will have to keep pounding the pavement to stop what they can. Fighting money and power is always an uphill battle, but these pimps should be made powerless, broke and in jail. Period..Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 4:34 PM ET
Thank you, once again, 360, for covering the stories that no one else will. These problems are the sort that make me sick to my stomach, knowing that there is another human being out there treating another, a CHILD, no less, in such an awful and demeaning way. Things like this hardly get the media attention they deserve.
Posted By Anonymous Kimber Streams, Lousiville, KY : 4:43 PM ET
Well, this looks like a story that is about everything--except what is important. The moral and real story hear is that if you let certain types of people into your community they are going to act a certain way. If your society doesn't support and nurture the family unit, then you wont have a support structure at home. If your community deosn't have leadership that is more concerned about the wellbeing of the community and less so about lining their pockets with lecture fees, you will not have a strong community support structure....What I am saying is that the family, community and people around the community are jsut as responsible for the well being of the children in the area as the sick people who prey on them. Who cares about the numbers, who cares about how many people get preyed on by predators, who cares unless the people locally that see it going on don't give a damn.
Randi, you should focus on societies that don't have this problem, make stories about areas that are better then this community and then show them what a better community looks like. Tell them that we aren't going to support them until they fix there own problem....Report the real story next time...that this community sucks, and hates their children.
Posted By Anonymous Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:02 PM ET
Is this story a hoax? I'm speechless! How can this happen on the streets of America? Why aren't these kids in school or reported as truants?
Posted By Anonymous Toni, Houston TX : 5:08 PM ET
I don't know what it will take to finally protect children worldwide from every sickening things done to them.
The sentences are ridiculous for the magnitude of the crimes(in U.S. & Canada). The victims have a life sentence of living with the trama. The scumbags(to be polite) get a few years and go back for more. Disgusting.
I don't know wich is worst. The pimps or the men paying for it. And I'm not even talking about the ones filming children being abused and then put it on internet.
There was a case in Montreal recently where the bastard abused his 4 years old daughter and her friends on the internet. His sentence was ridiculous!
How can we accept as supposedly "developped societies" that our children are preyed upon and the "laws" aren't protecting them adequatly?
If there is something we should all stand and demand from our governments is tougher laws to protect our children and stop putting the abusers back on the streets to become "recidivists".

Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R.Laval Quebec : 5:19 PM ET
Sad to say but this has been happening since the dawn of time. The only justified punishment for these scum of the earth beings (pimps and adults who sell children) is the death penalty because in essence a death has occured. Shantique is not the innocent girl she was before being tied down on a bed. One life ended that day and her new life began. It is horrific to think this is still happening in 2007.
Posted By Anonymous Katherine, Woodland Hills CA : 5:20 PM ET
Why is it that you have American movies stars donating extravagant amounts of monies to third world countries to combat these sort of atrocities (i.e. Cambodia)..and nothing is being done about it happening in their own back yard?? This is is this even happening?
Posted By Anonymous Sadie, Mesa, Arizona : 5:24 PM ET
Thank You - this is an eye openeing and truly sad post...

There is nothing more important in a civilized society than the protection of its children. The issue of childhood prostitution crosses all socio-political-economic lines. It�s not an Atlanta issue as you point out in this piece. As a humanitarian issue first and a law enforcement issue second, there can be no more important task for civic, local, state and federal officials than the protection of children. What is the next step? Use the media to bring this story and this issue to the national forefront. Put this on all the talk shows. Let everyone from Oprah to O�Reilly pan this topic every night until politicians and states change their laws and put these predators under our jails. Print this story in every newspaper. Tell this story in every classroom at every grade. Put this in the sermons in all of the churches. Let no one go unpunished who is connected to exploiting children in any form.
Posted By Anonymous Doug, Orlando-FL : 5:28 PM ET
This story is heart-wrenching! Call me VERY naive, but I did not realize that this type of sick behavior was even going on in this country- let alone GEORGIA! It even sounds like law enforcement isn't making it their top priority to save these children. They don't have accurate figures on arrests made?!! Please tell me whats wrong with this picture! Someone needs to get the priorites straight- Saving childrens lives is 1st and foremost.
Posted By Anonymous Gretchen Perry, St Petersburg FL : 5:28 PM ET
First I read on CNN about the women, young girls (some children) are being raped, sold by their families into prostitution in Cambodia. Then I come to this article about it happening in my own backyard in Atlanta. I am thinking why is it that women, young girls, baby girls, even the female unborn (such as that ones aborted in India, China) are not respected in the world. It is like a woman are not treated equally to a man from birth on. It is painful to read this on an almost daily basis. I would like to see something done. But I don't see any leader from our country making steps in that direction.
Posted By Anonymous TJohnson, Snellville, GA : 5:36 PM ET
This is so sad. Too bad that sperm decays over time and cannot be gotten from these girls to hunt down and put in jail these pediphiles. Hopefully soon we can find a way to link the perps to the rape of these girls. As a woman who has been molested and raped as a child. I understand totally what these kids are going through emotionally. Thank you for the media making this known to the public that this goes on in America. I am sure it is something some people would like to have swept under the rug.
Posted By Anonymous Autumn. Bellevue, washington : 5:52 PM ET
"Focus on societies that don't have this problem...tell them that we aren't goign to support them until they fix there own problem." Posted by Brant

Seriously? Yeah, I'm sure that's just what the 9, 10, 12 year old children being forced into prostitution need to hear. "Sorry honey, I know that bad hurt you, but until your family and community will take some responsibility, we're only going to report stories about wonderful and perfect neighborhoods."

Does that make ANY sense, whatsoever?
Posted By Anonymous Lauren, Chicago IL : 6:00 PM ET

It has been a given that Atlanta is a haven for prostitutes and the nuturing of pimps. To solve the child prostitute issues then identify the efforts to rid prostitution of women of age - as a whole. How's Atlanta dealing with the overall prostitution problem? Child prostitution is a by-product of this.
Posted By Anonymous Eddie Cason, Lakeland, FL : 6:01 PM ET
The most effective solutions for this horrific problem begins at home, in shools and with more aggresive police work! Not enough or our Law enforcement community is trained to deal with forced child prostitution. (I know ... I am in the field)

It ends with penalties beyond what are parceled out now! Our judiciary too often tends to blame the victims and sets bail too low for the offenders ... where NO bail should apply!

There also needs to be a safe haven with intense loving counseling for the victims ... that does not exist in most places.
Posted By Anonymous B. Chauvin Casselberry, Fl. : 6:03 PM ET
I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the thought that adults can exploit children like this. :(
Posted By Anonymous Genevieve M., El Paso, TX : 6:03 PM ET
Thank You for printing this story 360 I think this is a horrible demeaning thing to happen to our young children I have two 10 year old girls and reading this story made me think of them and Thank my God nothing has ever happen to them such as this. I hope the lives of these thugs will be punished in a great way.
Posted By Anonymous Sherri McCauley, Portland, Or : 6:12 PM ET
"Well, this looks like a story that is about everything--except what is important." -Posted By Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:02 PM ET

How is this not important? Little children being used sexually by pediphiles. It still happens all over the United States in every community! You don't think it happens to you or do you just ignore it or deny that it exsist. More children are molested and raped by family memeber than anywhere else and is the most covered crime by families than anywhere else in the world.

"The moral and real story hear is that if you let certain types of people into your community they are going to act a certain way." Posted By Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:02 PM ET

Wow you think only certian people sexually molest and rape children. Cases of child rape happen in lower class, middle class and in higher class. Just he middle class and higher class are better at hiding and covering it up.

"If your society doesn't support and nurture the family unit, then you wont have a support structure at home. If your community deosn't have leadership that is more concerned about the wellbeing of the community and less so about lining their pockets with lecture fees, you will not have a strong community support"Posted By Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:02 PM ET

ROFLMAO meanwhile child molestation and rape goes on in your own community hidden by lies and bribes. Just because you don't know about it doesn't mean it is not happening in your own community.

"structure....What I am saying is that the family, community and people around the community are jsut as responsible for the well being of the children in the area as the sick people who prey on them."Posted By Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:02 PM ET

How are they to protect the children when they are denying it happening in thier own community?

"Who cares about the numbers, who cares about how many people get preyed on by predators, who cares unless the people locally that see it going on don't give a damn." Posted By Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:02 PM ET

Well this is why it is being brought to the forefront by the media because people don't know it is going on or in denial.

"Randi, you should focus on societies that don't have this problem, make stories about areas that are better then this community and then show them what a better community looks like."Posted By Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:02 PM ET

OH you mean a perfect community like your own. ROFLMAO... hmmm what if we dig deeper I think you find you will be ashamed of your community if the media truly exposed the dirt hidden under the 500 dollar matt in front of your doorway.

"Tell them that we aren't going to support them until they fix there own problem...."Posted By Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:02 PM ET

So your community is not responsible for someone elses community? LOL wow so your rich community or middle class community is not responsible for lower class community? Wow I did not know that communities were dissected into sections. I thought the community means the whole. You lack empathy, are selfish, ignorant and dangerous to the community. You think you are better than everyone else and need some classes in emotional intelligent course.

"Report the real story next time...that this community sucks, and hates their children."Posted By Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:02 PM ET

Wow how judgemental and generalization of a community that is not your own. Survival of the fitest right? Man and I thought this was a Christian country of which jesus taught compassion and understanding.
Posted By Anonymous Autumn. Bellevue, washington : 6:15 PM ET
What turned my stomach when I worked with this population as a counselor is that their own families allowed them to be assaulted, used, and treated like they were nothing. Drug addiction is more powerful than just about anything. To allow your child to used for a crack supply is unfathomable. A community that allows this is unacceptable. A nation that accepts this is no better than the countries in Africa that allow their children and women to be raped. It says so little for us in the US about how we respect our own children, our bodies, our sexuality, and our partners. The healing from these atrocities takes a lifetime if the survivors are lucky enough to get treatment. And this doesn't just happen in Atlanta. I heard about it in small towns, too, from those I encountered. I'm glad someone has the guts enough to expose this.
Posted By Anonymous TA Cheramie, Berwick, LA : 6:23 PM ET
I am astounded that so many 360 viewers are oblivious to the sex slave problem. This isn't new; PBS covered this subject on Frontline last year.
Posted By Anonymous J.A., Parma, Ohio : 6:55 PM ET
The problem with focusing on the sex trade is that people only see that one aspect. This problem is a symptom of a much larger problem in society. We cannot "fix" the child slavery/sex problem- we have to fix the societal problem!
Posted By Anonymous Sharla Jones, Stratford, NJ : 7:11 PM ET
i was in the army in the 80s. and i was never in s.korea. but, i met alot of soldiers that were. and they all talked about the young girls that were sold into prostitution. mamasan would purchase the young girl from her poor family. and mamasan would set her up and put her to work. and the biggest customers were the american GI. and their military leadership knew about it. and did nothing. alot of GIs would catch deseases from the girls. and have to get shots to be cured. we protect s. korea. and i think we can bend some arms to change the laws in korea. also to make it illegal for a american GI to ingage in that kind of activity. our country can't speak against sex slavery, and allow our military soldiers to fund it. lets squeeze mamasan and put her out of business. i'm not saying all GIs have been involve in it. but many have.
Posted By Anonymous dan nation osage iowa : 7:31 PM ET
Hey wait a minute. And you want OTHER countries to be LIKE the U.S.?

The U.S. is sick with this type of a situation going on(child slavery/sex).

A foreign country is different in that their laws are NOT our laws. The U.S. population should know how to 'protect' a child. But your to 'concerned' about "bow-ing" down, and "bedning-over" to your favaoraite religion, the holy 'dollar', to even care.

Thought you had brains - guess not.
Posted By Anonymous Ron Williams, Los Angeles CA : 7:41 PM ET
Even though it was a very painful segment to watch, thank you for reporting on this disgusting abuse of children.

I feel the dignity of women is set back hundreds of years each time a woman or a little girl (boy) is raped, molested, or sold into slavery whether it is Africa or the US. It doesn't matter if it is one or a hundred; it is violence.

Solutions? What about women mentoring women? Giving women a voice against violence through tougher laws and enforcement, castration of male body parts of pimps and johns (sorry), safer streets or holding parents accountable?

I guess I always assumed poverty is an accelerant for prostitution, but you reported it is also within the realms of the wealthy as well. My mistake.

Thanks Randi for giving Shantique her voice back.
Posted By Anonymous Liz, Milwaukee, Wisconsin : 7:49 PM ET
Right on Autumn from Bellevue!! It is people like Brant that only perpetuate this sickness. Ignoring a problem or blaming in on the "other" guy doesn't make it go away and I'm sure there are disgusting secrets hidden in your "perfect" community. I was living in an upper middleclass white community and yet was being molested and raped repeatedly by an adoptive father who was president of the school board and worked for the Catholic Archdiocese, but according to Brant, these things NEVER happen in the perfect communities. Ignorance is defintely NOT bliss. It is just that...IGNORANCE.
Posted By Anonymous Kate, Los Angeles, CA : 7:58 PM ET

I read your blog post just a few minutes before I left my office about 5:30 PM and I was a little tearful. Your post makes me realize how predictable and pure my life is and the life of my family.

When I worked in downtown Sarasota, I would arrive at my office about 7 AM every day. I would always take the short way to work right through some seedy places. You would see the adult women sleeping on park benches, under the trees and in front of the convenience stores. They didn't need to tell you their professions. You knew. They had worked all night.

All went well for many years until I blew a tire right in front of the convenience store where the ladies all hung out. My husband, mother and friends all warned me something would happen there. Having no fears except for heights and rollercoasters, I always take the short way. I am pretty fearless.

I was waiting for AAA and there were the prostitutes sitting on the bench. So I went over and asked them what time the store opened because I needed a cup of coffee. They said, "Sister, sit down, they don't open for an hour." So I sat and talked with the ladies. It was very, very sad. These ladies have no education, no money and most of them are very depressed and lonely. I asked them why they did this and it was because they had been doing it since 12 or 14. They knew no other way.

Years later I was at a black tie fundraiser for a women's organization and the keynote speaker, guess who, the lady that talked with me for one hour that day. After her speech I went to congratulate her for getting her GED, getting off drugs and staying on her depression medicine. She is now a mother and a wife.

She remembered me very clearly. She told me I was the first white women in a business suit who had ever talked to her and told her she too could have an education. Now she was in a business suit and she was too proud!

BTW, on September 11, 2001, when President Bush was in town. The ladies were told the benches were closed that day. They were bused to the other side of town. See Bush would have to pass by the same store. Now let's talk about staging!
Posted By Anonymous Renee Bradenton, FL : 8:05 PM ET
After reading the story about girls being sold by parents in Cambodia because of the extreme poverty, it makes me wonder how the girls in Atlanta become prostitutes. There is so much opportunity here that I can't imagine these parents are selling their children for money. Are these children being kidnapped? I'm looking forward to the show.
Posted By Anonymous Missy Wong, Van Nuys, CA : 8:17 PM ET
It is just creepy to think that a person would even want to have sex with a 10 year old. Can't they go after the people who are paying? I hope more girls are off the streets and into counseling as this story airs.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 8:29 PM ET
Hi Anderson and Randi:

Thanks for opening my eyes. While I knew that street prostitution was real for girls in their early teens, I did not know in this day and age that little girls who are nine, ten, and eleven would involved.

In New York, there is a shelter called Covenant House that takes young teen runaways off the streets, that would otherwise be forced into prostitution, what I am wondering is this, is there a formal safehouse in Atlanta, and is there a way to contribute to it?

Also, I have a collegue who has developed software in Houston, that not only allows parents to see who the sex offenders in there area are but also allows parents to track all chatrooms that their young pre-teens and early-teens visit. He is a former detective, and created this with the idea of intercepting these relationships that created on-line and end up in tradgedy online.

I think the truth of the matter is that until men begin to respect women of all ages and all socio-economic groups, that this problem will continue. As for the need for child sex surrogates this speaks unfortunately to some physic or physcial harm that was done to these men when they were young. So it becomes a vicious circle.

No child is born evil, or is a bad seed, it's the life conditioning that creates it.

We all need to be a little less intimate with technology and practice more tenderness.

I appreciate your willingness to do hard news, which must often be heartbreaking for you.

Patrice Golinvaux, Fulton, IL
Posted By Anonymous Patrice Golinvaux, Fulton, IL : 8:34 PM ET
This is just a result of the sick world we live in. Think about first, the person who is "pimping" the young children. Then stop for a second and think about the people who are paying for it!! These people are not the stereotypical person we all think of when we think of a child molester. It�s a neighbor, or someone you work with. I think the blame is on society as a whole, and on our government. We need to spear head this problem and stop in now! Although I feel that this is problem only God can solve.
Posted By Anonymous Patrick, Billings, Montana : 8:36 PM ET
There is a tolerance in our socity for a especially in the poor areas for sex and drug realted crimes - I think we tend to try ot isolate these crimes and not solve them. At last these stories are getting the attention the deserve and I hope so will these kids.
Posted By Anonymous Marci, Chino Hills, Ca - : 8:43 PM ET
What can I do? How can I help? Isn't it amazing no one has asked these questions? For those of us that want to DO something, where can we get more information? I'll leave the hardwork of jaw flapping to everyone else.
Posted By Anonymous Alesha Dallas, TX : 8:56 PM ET
I cannot believe what i have just read!Iam having a hard time believing that the law makers in that city have not done anything to protect the innocent and helpless children,i hope they can sleep at nite!What can be done?how can people help? Its a war against the scumbags,and it should be an easy one,RIGHT! Hopefully a smart judge in that area will read this story and then think about if it was one of his/hers grand kids!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Greg Palmer ,Ontario,canada : 9:13 PM ET
These sex crimes occur in every city in every nation, and it is appauling. I worked with such girls in Calcutta India for a short period. And I was astonished to find out how prevalent it is even our country. We are not immune to perverts.
Posted By Anonymous Alena, Seattle, WA : 9:31 PM ET
Autumn and Randi,

Sorry I don't fit your stereotypical rich, judgemental character that you seem so angry at. Maybe you should direct your anger where it is needed most--first try the areas such as the one in this article that allow their children to be abused.
You should realize one thing. I never once said they are right or wrong�just that they suck. They can pick their own morals�which they have. They can pick their own pillars to build a community on�which they have. They can decide the structure of their society�which they have. Those are specifically: sex, prostitution, self-indulgence and self-loathing.
The problem here, as is the problem in so many areas of our society, is the rampant self-centered nature of the people in the community. People don't want to work so they turn to things that get them fast cash, like drugs and sex. Soon the people around them see how easy they have it by not working and drawing either social security or mooching off society that they turn to the same types of crime. Liberals like yourself embrace this way of thinking; you pity people who don't take initiative in their own lives. You cozy up to the people who want to legalize prostitution, you want the legalization of drugs, you desire that many forms of debauchery be allowed and practiced in public. I never tried to compare my community to that of this article. I would never do that. I only compare myself and the people I call family and friends to this community. NONE of those people would ever allow me to behave in such a manner, nor would I want to, and they would not allow me to treat any children I have that way, nor would I want to. You must realize something--it is simple, timeless, and universal: We are all born with the innate ability to become what we choose. It is for us to pick the path, not the outcome.
The persons in this community are each individuals, with their own choices in life, they pick their paths. They choose to walk in this community, to walk through it and do nothing on their way by. The community around them in turn defines the outcome of their path. They choose to stay in that community...their choice, not mine. How dare you, Autumn, try to impose your ideals on them. Let them have the horrible society they want, let it crumble on its own debauchery into a heap of disgrace for everyone in Bellevue, Washington to revel in.
The children here are blameless, however, the community around them is not. Each person who sits by and lets these atrocities happen should be held as responsible as the perpetrators. If a drug dealer give meth to parents of a 12 year old he should be charged with drug dealing and endangering a child. The parents should be charged with neglect and be ineligible to raise or have any more children, period. It is time that we in America realize that some people are scum and should be allowed to bring children into this world. Maybe court ordered sterilization would solve this problem.
I propose a new law: Anyone who endangers a child through an illegal act that disrupts the societal support structure for any child shall be sterilized and all their children taken away permanently. If you engage in sexual activity with a child under 12 the mandatory punishment is death. If you are a party to the above mentioned activity, or stand by an allow it, the mandatory punishment is death.
Enough said.
Posted By Anonymous Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 9:31 PM ET
Randi, that's an incredible story. I am so proud that she is in college and helping other girls, instead of being a victim her whole life! Good for her.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 9:56 PM ET
Hey Randi - I don't know which upset me more, your post about the horrific things that are done to these kids or the unsympathetic comment posted by the gentleman from Madison. (I use the term gentleman loosely)

At least the girl you mentioned had an aunt who cared enough to look for her, but what about those who have an unhappy home to begin with; stepfathers who sexually or emotionally abuse them or mothers who care more about their own love life than nurturing and caring for their kids. Many kids run away because they feel no one cares for them and they are easy prey for these evil people. I guess the nice word would be predators, but I think evil is more to the point.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 10:03 PM ET
How much do we spend on the "war on drugs", how much do we spend "freeing Iraq"?

A small percentage of this money could stop this horrendous situation.
Posted By Anonymous Ralph, New York : 10:12 PM ET
If young men can sue priests for what happened years ago, prostituted children should be able to suit their pimps, or face incarceration. Another failed statute of limitations issue insulating men from misdemeanors which should have been felonies.
Posted By Anonymous Pat, Boston, MA : 10:18 PM ET
I think that it is sicking to read about how these girl are getting treated. Why are the parents looking for there child I thing that the pimp and the parent are to be lock up and have the same thing done to them that these girl are have done to them. First of all why would a grow n man what have sex with a kid i think the reason is that the are try of getting turn down by these old woman because the know that they are nuthing but trash, also they nneed to be wipe with a chain just fir and idea let that an these pimp it time of them to get a real job a 9 to 5 that pays the are to old for this some are old than moses. Right now I;m very upset so i will go now i will be praying for this girl.
Posted By Anonymous Nicole Brown Killeen Texas : 11:10 PM ET
A hideous story but not surprising. I'm a social worker and for 20 years have worked with "high risk" women. Over and over again, I see women badly damaged by their own childhoods who go on to create environments for their own children at least as bad if not worse. My clients routinely allow "boyfriends" with frightening criminal histories to babysit their children. The women and their boyfriends are often so entangled in the utter insanity of drug abuse that the wellbeing of their own children is the furthest thing from their minds. I've always said that for all the stories like these that we hear about, there are many, many more that remain silent. The solution? I wish I knew.
Posted By Anonymous Sandra, Spokane, WA : 11:14 PM ET
That truly is sick. You would think that here in America, there are ways to prevent anything like this from happening, considering all the resources we have and high regard to women and children's rights. But there is some disgusting wave of illegal child sex trade that seems to be either proliferating our country, or is just now being exposed. It's absolutely disgusting what is going on. Thank you for exposing such an apalling story. Now we can all be a little more aware, and just maybe try to help these young girls.
Posted By Anonymous Emily N, San Diego, CA : 11:16 PM ET
With the current state of journalism in an upheaval, it's great to know
that there are still programs that carry out the essence of journalism. I, along with so many others, truly commend this show for bringing to light yet another issue that doesn't resonate within our conscience.

In November, I went to a human trafficking panel moderated by Mr. Nicholas Kristoff and yes, the most shocking thing was realizing that human trafficking is modern day slavery and it is happening literally in "our own backyard." People need to keep hearing about this because
unfortunately they have many misconceived notions about this problem. This is an issue that reaches well beyond borders and unlike anything else, there is no "pro" side to this issue. Not only does trafficking involve sexual exploitation of unbelievably young children, but trafficking also involves exploitation of adults as workers and children as soldiers. These people are tricked into believing that they will have a better life. Some are drugged. Many are kidnapped. If they do escape and turn to the police for help, many have complained of the police abusing them. Some manage to find their way home, only to be shunned by their families and communities, as if it was there fault they were trafficked. Many contract diseases and die while others are forced to live with the shame and abuse that they've endured. Since many came illegally, they fear deportation and thus, continue to live with the abuse. Since many end up having nowhere to go, they end up right back where they started. What is becoming of our society when we think that legalizing prostitution makes it okay? Does this mean that there will be fewer people with diseases? Is this empowering women?! There needs to be a collaborative effort amongst nations to tackle this problem. We need more laws to protect those who have
OPERATIONS. Many of the victims are stereotyped as being poor and
uneducated. However, often times the buyers are rich and educated. The
consequences of trafficking- abuse, trauma, disease, and death, are far
too great to be ignored. After all, we wouldn't want it to be someone we
knew and as I learned at that panel, if you actually spoke to someone who
depended upon the income from prostitution, they would tell you that if they had a choice, it's not what they would want to be doing.
Posted By Anonymous Jaya- New York, NY : 11:37 PM ET
U.S. child prostitution is minuscule compared to U.S. child sexual abuse by family members and friends. This form of sexual exploitation shatters the ability to make and maintain healthy relationships because of what it does to trust. These are my students, the very kiddos I work with. They are in and out of psychiatric hospitals, live in the revolving door of foster homes (until the OCS goes for family reunification!), are certified emotionally disturbed though they have average to above average intelligence, but are so messed up that they struggle to learn.

The damage done to children by adult sex abuse (stranger, familial, or financial) must end. I believe we need better detection, tougher laws, judicial enforcement, AND more social workers, better mental health services, tougher penalties for abusers (whether neglect, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse), AND a commitment to severing familial ties while the children are still adoptable.
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Anchorage, AK : 12:04 AM ET
Sexual slavery is outrageous, and offensive, and I am very glad that it tugs at the heart strings of Americans. But, it is just one more form of slavery. Remember this the next time you are at a Chinese buffet eating all the crab leggs that you can eat for $6.99. Someone isn't getting paid...and you know it isn't the owner. It's the poor girls that are doing all the work to pay off their smuggling fees. Slavery is slavery at one level, isn't it?
Posted By Anonymous Leif Ringstad, Dallas Texas : 6:33 AM ET
Most of the parent needs counseling and financial support, in this regard. If they feel the only way out is to dispose kids in such world of pain and shame. For normal being will not do that, is annoying
Posted By Anonymous Okpako Ir. Julius, Sapele, Dalta, Nigeria : 6:52 AM ET
This is so sad and it is so unfortunate that no one can come up with an idea on how to help these children.
Maybe if everyone everywhere keeps there eyes and ears open instead of minding there own business. Alot of these children can be helped.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Hauppauge, NY : 7:40 AM ET
I believe children all over the world, especially in vulnerable societies should be adequately protected from sexual abuse and other sex related afflictions by giving them fundamental and necessary moral standards in their up bringing through counseling and continuous education, which can be conveyed via family and community awareness campaigns on the potential dangers of sex trade or the signs to look out for in order to prevent children from being lured into scandalous sex trade.
Posted By Anonymous Lolu Ogunbiyi, Lagos Nigeria : 8:01 AM ET
I can't tell you how disgusted I am with the fact that young girls are being exploited in this nation. I see it every day when I travel back and forth to work. I see young girls being made to sell their bodies. I also notice that alot of these young girls are African-Amercan who come from poverty and no education. It seems to me something needs to be done. These young girls need to know that they are worth more and they deserve better.
Posted By Anonymous Indigo, Tampa, Florida : 9:02 AM ET
Thank you for sharing this disturbing information. The story makes me sick to my stomach. It's the community and the government's responsiblity to protect children. It's time the federal government step in to protect our children from pimps, pedophiles and anything else that could harm them. I want to see this an issue in the next presidential election. The U.S. needs to send a message to Cambodia and other countries that abusing children will not be tolerated.
Posted By Anonymous Jessica, Dallas, TX : 9:19 AM ET

You may never have realized it at the time but sometimes all it takes for many of these woman is to hear a few encouraging words when everything around hem seems so bleak.

If there were more people like you that took the time to listen to these woman I think the problem could be solved.

This is no different than the homeless issue where everyone wrings their hands but will avoid people sleeping on the street and put their blinders on.

You and that lady both benefitted from sitting and listening to each other that day.
Posted By Anonymous Shannon Lambe Toronto : 9:39 AM ET

Thank you, Renee Bradenton from Florida, for sharing your story about how one woman was able to leave prostitution.

Whether you know it or not, you may have planted a seed for this woman (keynote speaker) by just acknowledging that she was of worth and of concern to you. I am proud of Renee too! She is one example of one woman reaching out to another woman and connecting no matter the circumstances.

No matter uncomfortable, I will watch AC360 tonight for more education on the exploitation of human beings throughout the world.

Without education and awareness, we are ignorant on its existence; therefore, we are also ignorant on how to act upon this travesty.
Posted By Anonymous Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 10:06 AM ET
It's hard to fathom that this kind of thing is true. How far from decent and respectable and kind and just is this? Who are the people who commit these crimes and what kind of creatures must they be? To think that any child would have to endure a single moment like this makes it difficult to think about our country and culture with any kind of pride. We are all victims. The children who suffer, the perpetrators who must live in constant suffering to commit such hideous acts, and the rest of us who lose faith in our neighbors, future, and culture, and eventually act accordingly. The damage of these acts is ongoing and contagious, and will not go away by itself. One can only hope that the outrage present here in these posts will eventually translate into some kind of action. It's our country after all. What will WE do to change it?
Posted By Anonymous JB, Hollywood, CA : 10:32 AM ET
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