Many Washington teens are missing, vulnerable to sex trafficking

KIRO7 News, updated June 5, 2018

As reported by KIRO7 News, "For weeks, media outlets reported on a Bonney Lake teenager who disappeared on May 9 and is safe tonight. But many more teens are still missing, including three girls whose cases did not receive the same level of attention. All three disappeared around the same time, late April and early May. And they are still missing."

"Seattle police say on any day, they have 50 to 60 active missing persons cases; about half involve children.  According to the advocacy group REST or Real Escape from the Sex Trade, one in three runaways is recruited by a pimp within 48 hours of leaving home. The average age of these runaways? Just 15 years old."


And most often, says (Kyra) Doubek, they are found by predators trolling the internet even before they leave home.  "They look for these people posting sad posts," she says. "It's not that they're bad kids. As my colleague says they're sad kids, they're not bad kids."

Sixteen-year-old Shianna Victoria Elkins ran away from Mount Vernon on April 19. Elkins is described as a ''chronic runaway.'' Seven days later, Ximena Delgado ran away from her Spokane home. Police believe the 16-year-old is with her boyfriend. Seventeen-year-old Hannah Turkington from Vancouver, Washington, ran away two days after the Bonney Lake teen. Police describe her, too, as a "chronic runaway."


What does that mean for you and I?  What can we do?  Being involved in the lives of kids and caring about them -- as coaches, youth group volunteers, scout or 4-H leaders, etc. -- can make a huge difference.  Being the home on the block where neighborhood kids are welcome and adults listen can provide a lifeline when life gets tough.  

And sometimes young people need you to be their lifeline.
SAH

Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit www.hope4justice.org/learnmore/ 


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ON THE READING LIST

Renting Lacy: A Story of America’s Prostituted Children (A Call to Action) by Linda Smith

The inspiration for the USA – Motel room in SOLD, this book reveals the underbelly of our country’s commercial sex trade. Get to know the men who sell them, and the ones who buy them. Let Renting Lacy draw you into the lives of these young girls as they struggle to survive each night, watching their childhood hopes and dreams slip away in the darkness. Let it compel you to action.

(Information from Mirror Ministries website.)