Hawaii is a hub for international business and trading, with an economy fueled by tourism and a large military population. These and many other factors make Hawaii a prime target for sex traffickers who capitalize on the high numbers of male travelers, businessmen, and military personnel. As the demand for sexual services increases in Hawaii, so does the number of victims, especially underage female victims.
Young girls in Hawaii are ordered online, forced into pornographic media, purchased in massage parlors, and put out on the street to generate business for sex traffickers (pimps).
In Hawaii, there is a significant lack of services providing short and long-term shelter for children. Currently there are no programs or long-term facilities specifically for domestic child victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Hawaii’s lack of resources forces vulnerable youth back out onto the streets. Instead of receiving help, they are being prosecuted, thrown in juvenile detention, and vilified. The pimps and johns (male customers) run free, the sex businesses flourish, and children are abused and put behind bars or left out on the streets.
While this problem is grave and seems overwhelming, there is hope. Hawaii needs a licensed long-term residential facility specifically geared toward meeting the needs of underage girls who have been sexually exploited. Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s mission is to meet this need and provide quality healing and rehabilitative care for this vulnerable population.
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