The sex trade is often seen as an industry that plagues remote developing countries, but a Washington, D.C. conference in July broke that stereotype by focusing on the sex trafficking that occurs every day in the United States. Girls Educational and Mentoring Services sponsored "Breaking the Silence," the first national summit for commercially sexually exploited youth that brought together 30 young survivors of forced prostitution from 15 U.S. cities. The summit publicized startling revelations about the network of sexually enslaved children in America.
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- 244,000 to 325,000 U.S. children are at high risk of commercial sexual exploitation each year.
- The average age of entry into prostitution for girls in the United States is 12.
- 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States from 49 countries every year.
- In the last decade, as many as 750,000 women and children have been trafficked into this country.
Source: The Protection Project; Child Sexual Exploitation, by Richard Estes; Girls Educational and Mentoring Services