What is sex trafficking?
The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, coercion or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age. (22 USC § 7102)
What is sexual exploitation?
The commercial sexual exploitation of children, also known as CSEC, refers to a range of crimes and activities involving the sexual abuse or exploitation of a child for the financial benefit of any person or in exchange for anything of value (including monetary and non-monetary benefits) given or received by any person.
Examples of crimes and acts that constitute CSEC:
- child sex trafficking;
- child sex tourism involving commercial sexual activity;
- commercial production of child pornography;
- online transmission of live video of a child engaged in sexual activity in exchange for anything of value.
Facts About Sex Trafficking in Hawaii
- The average age a child is first sex trafficked is 11 years old.
- 1 in 3 child victims are recruited online into sex trafficking.
- 1 in 4 child victims are exploited by their own family. (3 out of 4 are exploited by someone they know.)
- 69% of sex trafficking victims have been homeless
Systems ranging from foster care involvement, criminal justice personnel, schools, and healthcare providers may have interacted with these children without recognizing the complexity of their experiences. Without the support necessary to wrap around these children when they try to exit their situation, the cycle continues.
An adequate response to the problem requires participation from numerous entities, including advocates, mentors, service providers, health and mental health care providers, law enforcement, legislators, prosecutors, educators, and the commercial sector. A problem of this scope and scale can only be tackled when the community is aware, engaged, and committed to preventing victimization and supporting the comprehensive services that are needed for those who have been victimized.
Through collaboration and partnerships, Ho’ōla Nā Pua is building a comprehensive and sustainable response to the issue of sex trafficking and exploitation. This includes programming to address prevention, intervention, empowerment, and health to create a continuum of care. Healthy recovery from severe trauma requires coordinated services that are culturally responsive, survivor informed, and trauma informed.