Sex trafficking of girls is a problem on any level, but according to a recent article from Ms. Magazine, it appears to be a phenomena that is hitting Minnesota especially hard.
From the Ms. blog:
My article “Jailing Girls for Men’s Crimes” in the summer issue of Ms. cited a study revealing that hundreds of girls aged 17 and younger are sold for sex each month in Georgia. Well, the numbers are just in from a study of three other states: New York, Michigan and Minnesota. Sponsored by the Women’s Funding Network, the report documents high and increasing rates of commercial sexual exploitation of adolescent girls. The study tracked the sale of girls on the Internet and through escort services (although girls are also sold on the street and at hotels, which the study did not track).
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Ms. points to some pretty frightening numbers: in the state of Minnesota, the rate of sex-trafficking of adolescent girls rose by more than 27 percent from February to May 2010, a greater percentage increase than any of the other states studied.
To be fair, Minnesota had not earlier seen high levels of sex-trafficking of girls, potentially making any jump in rates look massive. Nonetheless, this statistic is shocking:
In Minnesota, more girls are commercially sexually exploited in one month (102) than there are teen girls who died by suicide, homicide and accidents combined in one year (29).
The internet has contributed greatly to sex-trafficking and sexual exploitation of girls, including sites like Craigslist. RH RealityCheck's Amie Newman takes a very through look at how Craigslist profits from sex trafficking, especially that of underage girls.