80% of runaway and homeless girls reported having been sexually or physically abused. Sex trafficking is defined as being compelled, forced, or coerced into sex acts in exchange for something needed (money, food, shelter, etc.). Our Family Services is a key partner in the Youth Experiences Survey, administered by the Arizona State University School of Social Work. The study investigates sex and labor trafficking among homeless and runaway young people. Key findings include: the average age of sex trafficking first occurs at 16 years old; among homeless youth who were labor trafficked, over one-third experienced the trafficking as minors; and homeless youth who experienced sex trafficking were more likely to have come from abusive households, to experience serious mental health challenges, and were at a greater risk among their peers to suffer from addiction.
Our response has been to employ a specialized case manager dedicated to serving Sex Trafficking survivors and providing additional services on healing from historic trauma and abuse and to become stabilized.
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