Runaways, social services, and trafficking

"Children in Social Services System Most At Risk for Being Sex Trafficked"

According to an article by, May 22, 2019

recent article showed up on Facebook last week with the claim that children in the social services system are the most at risk for sex trafficking.  The author, Petr Svab, begins with the statement: "Among children reported as likely victims of child sex trafficking upon running away from home, most have one thing in common—they were supposed to be looked after by the government."  

Data from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shows that, "In 2017, nearly 25,000 runaways reported to NCMEC and nearly 3,600 were likely victims of sex trafficking. Of those, 88 percent came from the social services system.  'In fact, children in the social services system are the group with the highest prevalence of child sex trafficking, said Robert Lowery, NCMEC’s vice president who heads its missing children division.'"

The article discusses the various reasons why children are in Social Services, ending with the conclusion, "It’s not hard to see that children in these situations, whether victimized by parents or the social services system itself, could be vulnerable to pimps eager to give them a false sense of belonging."

"The My Life, My Choice Project based in Boston found that of the first 40 girls they worked with who were living in group homes within the foster care system, 38 had been approached by a pimp for recruitment, according to the 2009 National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America’s Prostituted Children (pdf)."

Ernie Allen, NCMEC president and chief executive says, “What we have learned is overwhelmingly, while these kids may leave home voluntarily, while they may be runaways or any one of a variety or variations on that theme; they are seduced, they are tricked, they are lured into this practice and then they lose the ability to walk away.  These kids literally become 21st-century slaves.”

How heartbreaking.  First the child's home situation fails them, then the social services system fails them, and then life fails them once again in the form of a smooth talking pimp luring them into a life of prostitution.  

It's a common story, repeated over and over around the world. Please pray with us for families to be rehabilitated and homes to be safe havens for children so vulnerable children aren't exploited.

Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit 

Runaway girl kidnapped and forced into sex trafficking

The Detroit Free Press, June 2, 2019, reported that, "A 14-year-old girl from Michigan, who was reportedly kidnapped, taken to multiple cities and forced to work as a prostitute in California, alerted a crisis line and ultimately helped bring down a human trafficking operation." 

As originally reported in The San Jose Mercury News, "...the teen was reported as a missing runaway from Flint on Sept. 1, 2018, but was kidnapped in Chicago. Sgt. Enrique Garcia of the San Jose Police Department told The Mercury News the teen wound up in California, where she was held against her will and forced to work as a prostitute, she contacted the Crisis Text Line. 

After the teen's report, according to The Mercury News, officers responded to her location at a Motel 6, where they arrested three suspects and rescued two other women from California, one 20 and the other 23."

Thank goodness this girl had an opportunity to call for help.  Let's pray that more victims will be able to take advantage of opportunities to get out of "the life" and back to freedom.