April 12, 2011
Commercial sexual exploitation remains a major problem among the young in the United States, with an estimated 100,000 U.S. children trafficked annually, experts say.
“The majority of the victims that we’re finding who are child sex-trafficking victims are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents,” said Sarah Vardaman, senior director of Shared Hope International.
“The sexual entertainment and the sexualization of our culture is encouraging a growing number of people who are demanding these services. And so, if we want to look at the factors of supply and demand, then we would say [the sex trafficking industry] is growing,” said Vardaman, whose organization seeks to rescue and restore women and children victimized by trafficking.
The sexual entertainment industry is booming because of greater access to pornography through technology. People are becoming desensitized to what the sex industry offers, Perkins said.
Pat Trueman, chief executive officer of Morality in Media, said the porn industry is a $12-$13 billion industry.
Morality in Media, which published a report in February, “Links Between Pornography and Sex Trafficking,” created a letter to Congress explaining the harm of pornography and asking Attorney General Eric Holder to enforce obscenity laws.