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Shared Hope International Launches Public Awareness Effort to Combat Sex Trafficking of Minors in America: Ground-Breaking New Video and Educational Materials Available

Contact: Cheryl Rettig, Shared Hope, 703-351-8062, cheryl@sharedhope.org

WASHINGTON, July 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- Shared Hope International, a leader in the worldwide effort to prevent and eradicate sex trafficking, is distributing a ground-breaking new video featuring never before seen footage of child sex trafficking in the United States.

Through extensive undercover research and on-camera interviews with pimps, sex trafficking survivors, members of law enforcement and social service providers, the video "Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: How to Identify America’s Trafficked Youth" provides an in-depth look at the buying and selling of America's children.

In 2005, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) was reauthorized with amendments identifying all minors under the age of 18 as sex trafficking victims when engaged in a commercial sex act such as prostitution and pornography.

"The best data suggests that at least 100,000 American kids a year are victimized through the practice of child prostitution," said Ernie Allen, President and CEO of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "These kids literally become 21st century slaves."

Other research has shown up to 300,000 American children are at-risk of being exploited through the commercial sex industry in the U.S. every year. The average age of coercion and recruitment into prostitution is 12 and some victims report being forced to service 10 to 15 buyers each night.

"To a trafficker, a child is low-risk, high-profit and easy to move about," said Linda Smith, founder and President of Shared Hope International.

To combat this crisis, Shared Hope International (SHI) is distributing their ground-breaking new video and other educational materials to first responders across the nation including Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) task forces, social service providers, and juvenile detention facilities. The goal of these materials is to provide a baseline understanding of domestic minor sex trafficking, redefine "child prostitutes" as trafficking victims, improve prosecution of traffickers, and increase victim identification and access to protective and restorative services. SHI is pleased to provide:

  • "Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: How to Identify America's Trafficked Youth" (25-minute video, DVD format)
  • Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Educational Power Point Presentation

These materials are available for download at www.sharedhope.org.