Last year (2015) I attended a training on the identification and assessment of the needs for intervening with CSEC; I attended the update earlier this month (12/16). CSEC is the commercial sexual exploitation of children. It’s a multimillion, if not multibillion per year business here in these USA as well as globally. Of the top centers in the world, we here in California can disappointedly claim three of them: Los Angeles, San Francisco & San Diego. Two of the main streets/locales that are common are the Figueroa corridor stretching from the Port of Los Angeles through, and past, University of Southern California. The other is Long Beach Blvd, with a lot of activity in Compton.
The CSEC population comprises of children, many who are victimized at 11 years old for the first time by their pimp. But this isn’t their first forced foray into trauma and victimhood: they’re likely to have been sexually molested by family members, witnesses to domestic violence, been in group foster homes because their home environment is deemed entirely too unsafe for them to remain there. These boys and girls frequently run away, but also are sold into CSEC by family – sometimes unwittingly (i.e. gang families, indentured overseas, coyotes).
One of the biggest impediments to working and obtaining help for these children is the lifespan they have once they enter CSEC: 7 years. Many do not live to be 20 years old. They are gang raped, drugged, beaten, starved. They are branded with tattoos or have microchips (yes, like Fido) embedded so that if they do manage to run away from the Pimp/John/Bottom-Bitch they are easily tracked, beaten for punishment. If a pimp, John, or Bottom Bitch has too much trouble with a girl or boy, they will kill them. Survival only happens if social services and DHS intervene, or if the child is abandoned by the pimps, but not without consequence. Frequently if a child is not killed for being troublesome to the pimp, they are burned with acid resulting in severe disfigurement.
The second impediment has been the issue with law enforcement labeling the children as criminals (i.e. charged with prostitution) instead of victims. When pimps and johns are caught, arrested, they have to attend a class on child prostitution to attend and it’s expunged from their record after 6 months. It’s on the record of the children forever.
A child cannot consent to sex. A child is not a criminal. He, or she, is a victim. There’s a growing number of boys being trafficked through the LBGT community in Hollywood, and they have pimps just like the girls. Instead of criminalizing children, let’s criminalize the johns and pimps. But you can’t have pimps and johns being thought of as the victim AND the child. So, we decriminalize prostitution to keep the children off the books, and start labeling the johns and pimps as criminals, start putting them into the sex offender registry.
What a dirty piece of trash journalism this link is!