The true story of a US child victim of commercial sexual exploitation published this week tells the story of the abuse Elaine* suffered at the hands of her father. Elaine may have seemed like any other child in her Pennsylvania neighbourhood but the horrifying truth was that her father was selling her for sex. To support his drug addiction, her father would host parties, often advertising to truckers through a CB radio. Unfortunately, Elaine’s story is not unique. It is estimated that 300, 000 children in the US are currently at risk of commercial sexual exploitation.
ECPAT-USA is committed to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the US and advocates for policy and legislation to protect children. Executive Director of ECPAT-USA, Carol Smolenski explains, “the child welfare, family support and criminal justice systems all need to be reformed because they do not have the tools, resources and training to adequately address this issue, and therefore children become highly vulnerable to being recruited into the sex market.” For survivors like Elaine, ECPAT-USA’s work is crucial to tackling this immense problem, both for current and future victims of child sexual exploitation.
You can read more of Elaine’s story here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/09/07/addressing-commercial-sexual-exploitation-of-children-in-our-backyard-elaine-s-story.html
*Name has been changed.