By Megan DePerro
Every year, over 100,000 American children and adolescents are trafficked within the United States as child prostitutes. Working as sex slaves they are sexually assaulted, psychological and physically tortured, burned, starved, and more. While there are protections and laws to help the roughly 18,000 child prostitutes trafficked in from abroad, there are less laws for American children and there are far more American children in the United States that are victims. We, the undersigned, strongly believe in making some immediate changes. Prevention is key and it's important to teach high school students the importance of safe dating, as many girls with low self esteem are lured by this men with trinkets (gold necklace, expensive shoes) they first buy them. It is also important for all American children and teenagers to learn self defense. When a child has gone missing, whether it's a probably kidnapping, wandering off, or a runaway all children regardless of race or economic background need to be placed on national news immediately. Furthermore, the Internet unfortunately is the global shopping centre for child prostitutes. Any American, whether at home or abroad, is caught with online child pornography must be permanately banned from the Internet for the remainder of his/her life, and prosecuted along with the creator of the vicious website. Those prosecuted for sexual assault or trafficking of a child should be given a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years without parole even if said child has turned eighteen. Intensive therapy for victims must be free, this includes those over the age of seventeen. This can no longer remain underground. The FBI is working hard to combat this, but more preventative measures need to be taken and the public needs to become aware. Please, pass this on to everyone you know and please learn about the horrific reality of child prostitution so we can prevent more torture and save more children and young adults. I have been mentoring and working with street youth since 2004.