US Losing the Battle against Sex Trafficking?

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After 10 years of focus on global sex trafficking, the State Department has decided to take a look at trafficking within the U.S.

What prompted the change? Officials cite mounting evidence of this horror's existence right here at home.

Shared Hope International is a non-profit organization that works to combat trafficking globally. Undercover video captured by the group revealed how young the targets are.

According to researchers, traffickers usually begin targeting kids who are 12 years old. Every year, up to 300,000 U.S. children are at risk of being sold for sex.

What happens to sex trafficking victims in the United States? What happens to the those who sell victims?

Former Rep. Linda Smith, founder of Shared Hope International, appeared on Thursday's "The 700 Club" to talk about this and on what her organization is doing to combat this issue. Click play to watch the interview.

To the untrained eye, trafficking is hard to spot. While many believe it's confined mainly to urban areas, CBN News recently discovered that Toledo, Ohio, is one of the top city for trafficking.

An FBI anti-trafficking task force now operates there, as well as in 38 other communities around the country.

Problems within the system abound, however, making justice difficult to obtain.

Also, most state laws aren't nearly as comprehensive or severe as federal laws, often leaving authorities with nowhere to take victims.

"Most of the girls have no self-esteem by the time we get them. They have been beaten," FBI Victim Specialist Jennifer Meyers said.
   
Across the country, Christian grassroots groups have begun to set up shelters for victims - a beginning step in an enormous battle to fight this modern atrocity.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells covers a variety of issues for CBN News ranging from immigration and religious liberty to human trafficking, privacy issues and food.

Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.