Victims' Rights Caucus

Articles

Rick Nolan and Ted Poe 9:03 a.m. EDT June 15, 2013

We need to eliminate the demand that drives sex trafficking.

Story Highlights

  • Some 250,000 American children are at risk of being sold into our nation's sex trafficking industry.
  • Traffickers have turned their attention from drugs to girls.
  • The last decade has seen significant federal and state efforts to go after traffickers.

Recently, our female colleagues on both sides of the aisle came together to discuss underaged sex trafficking. Not in Southeast Asia or the Middle East, where our attention is usually directed. But right here in the United States, where on any given day, some 250,000 American children, mostly young girls, are at risk of being sold into our nation's burgeoning sex trafficking industry.

Why is America's girl-focused sex traffic industry flourishing in its dark and dangerous marketplace? The simple answer is demand. As with any business, legal or illegal, success requires demand for the product being sold. In this case, men constitute the demand. Men are part of the problem. And men are part of the solution.

That is why we are joining our female colleagues to declare loudly that "our daughters are not for sale."

Understand that the daughters that we're talking about aren't street-wise prostitutes, but on average, 12- to 14-year-old girls. Many are runaways, abducted or lured by traffickers, then raped and beaten into submission. Traffickers have turned their attention from drugs to young girls because, as we are told, criminal enterprises have discovered it is less risky and more profitable to sell young girls than it is to market heroin or crack cocaine. This is happening in America today.

Regretfully, the &quo