Human trafficking happens in almost every country around the world, including the United States. Traffickers represent every social, ethnic, and racial group. Traffickers are not only men; women are also perpetrators.
Young people, especially those with risk factors, are vulnerable to human trafficking. The Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidance on child trafficking to child welfare systems and runaway and homeless youth programs because of increased vulnerability to trafficking for youth who have experienced prior abuse or who have run away from home. Vulnerable youth are often preyed on by traffickers and lured with false promises of love, money, or simply a better life.
Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse in adulthood. ACEs can also negatively impact education and job opportunities. However, ACEs can be prevented. According the American Journal of Public Health, maltreated youths are more susceptible to exploitation in human trafficking. Sexual abuse in connection with high ACEs scores may serve as a key predictor of exploitation in human trafficking for both boys and girls.
At The Starr Institute we are creating and sustaining safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for youth to help all them reach their full potential. We believe that every child deserves a life free from harm, particularly the hurt that comes from sexual abuse.
The mission of The Starr Institute is to educate, engage and empower youth through awareness and prevention resources and to offer transformative skills in a safe space designed to positively develop and instill the confidence necessary for survivors to thrive.
That all youth receive the care, support and skills they need to thrive.