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NOW Covers Child Prostitution in Atlanta

May 31, 2008

Last night’s episode of NOW on PBS focused on child prostitution in Atlanta, GA. According to an estimate provided in the introduction, “law enforcement sources say that across America, tens of thousands of children are involved in prostitution.” Let’s try that again, with emphasis: law enforcement sources say that across America, tens of thousands of children are involved in prostitution.

Reporters talked to advocates and Atlanta’s mayor Shirley Franklin, former prostitutes, and others. One woman interviewed reports that she was first paid for sexual activities at 7 years old, and that many of the girls who become prostitutes have been sexually abused at a young age by relatives or other close adults. Another reports girls having been branded by their pimps. Branded.

A 2005 report from the Mayor’s office [PDF] offers these alarming findings:

  • African American girls are disproportionately affected, with 90% of cases reported to the Center to End Adolescent Sexual Exploitation in 2004 coming from this population.
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that the average age of the affected girls is 14, with some as young as 10 and 11 reported.
  • There is only one safe house east of the Mississippi River specifically for girls who have been sexually exploited – it is Angela’s House in Georgia and can only accommodate six girls at a time.

According to NOW, Atlanta is not an isolated case, but one of 20 or so American cities with a significant child prostitution/exploitation problem.

The program is available online as video, audio, and a podcast.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sara permalink
    January 22, 2010 1:38 pm

    Prostitution laws make it easy for traffickers of minors.
    The police spend their time busting woman that are of age and willingly working as escorts because they are easy targets and can be held up as an example that “the officals are doing something about trafficking”.

    Current prostitution laws ASSIST violent criminals who prey on escorts. Prostitutes do not report incidences to the police, because of the risk that they will be arrested if they do. So offenders are allowed to escalate unchecked. The man known as the “craigslist killer” is a perfect example of this.
    It is not uncommon for such predictors to threaten prostitutes with the police if she does not agree to risky services such as intercourse without a condom (known as bareback full service, or BBFS)

    Anyone who sincerely wants to effectively reduce/eliminate trafficking of minors would call for reform of prostitution laws.
    Requiring prostitutes to A.) acquire a license obtainable with std screening and proof ID/age, and B.) register with the local police department where he/she will be working –would screen out those prostitutes who are NOT TRAFFICKED, and not only increase public safety & ensure public health, but also help police to accurately identify trafficked victims, etc.

    The problem is, trafficking is the banner that peevish prudes use to manipulate the public into okaying harassment of willing escorts & call girls.
    These people hide behind the guise of feminism, often using academia related platforms to spread their misinformation.

    They make up lies, using emotional hot button excuses like “prostitutes are walking std factories”. When the truth is that “call girls” & “escorts” have VERY low STD rates compared to the general population.
    This is because, due to the nature of the work, sex workers have very practiced safe sex routines which are never deviated from, as apposed to the rest of the population who are more likely to “slip” in terms of safe sex.

    Of course, mandatory std screening as I mentioned above would make this a moot topic anyway.

    I worked as a call girl. I can partially attribute my graduation from college to the sex industry, without which, I would be working as some faceless drone, hating my life in a go no where job trying to live off of minimum wage and living in a violent crime infested impoverished neighborhood.

    Prostitution is illegal because it is part of a class war, and because Americans have precious little sophistication in regards to sexuality.

    Current prostitution laws, and the subsequent busts touted on the nightly news exist solely to punish woman who step outside of the acceptable “box” in terms of sexuality. Male sex workers are abundant, but never come up on the legal radar screen unless they are extremely obvious/get caught engaging in public sex, etc.

    End of story.

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