Sex trafficking of minors, aka sexual exploitation of minors, continues in all corners of the world, and law enforcement is becoming more sensitized toward as to how the individual minor prostituting themselves are the victims. Shared Hope International released their new report “Demanding Justice” which shines the light on the buyers of sex with a minor.

The report highlights the pursuit of “traffickers” without addressing the “johns” who create the demand, does nothing to stem the evolution of more traffickers. Startling statistics evolved out of the report on the comparatively light sentences the buyers receive when (if) they are prosecuted.

Seattle (the metropolitan area in which I reside) has the highest conviction rate in the United States of those arrested for the purchase of sex with a minor, with 100 percent convictions. Sadly, the individual convicted will on average spend about 83 days incarcerated, according to the press release issued by Shared Hope International. Furthermore, not one of the buyers was convicted under the state’s sex/human trafficking laws which may have carried a much higher sentence. It would appear the sex trafficking laws are reserved for the pimps and their entourage and not being used for the demand side of the equation, the buyer.

The study focused their research on four metro areas where the “demand” side of the equation had gained momentum, these four metro areas are:

  • Š DC-Baltimore Corridor (Montgomery County and Baltimore County, Maryland)
  • Š Phoenix Metro Area, Arizona
  • Š Portland Metro Area, Oregon
  • Š Seattle Metro Area, Washington

Portland and Seattle are in the backyard of Shared Hope International which is located in Vancouver, WA (across the Columbia River from Portland), it does not take a degree in sociology to extrapolate how the data produced from these four areas to your metro area.

The report is worth the investment of your time, at 100+ pages, it is not a light read, it is however an important one.

Thank you for your time,

Demanding Justice Report 2014 (134 page pdf)