On Monday, the FBI released information on the success of Operation Cross Country, a multi-state, three-day operation that saved girls ranging in age from 13 to 17 from forced prostitution.
150 pimps were arrested.
Since Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. had sponsored a bill last month that requires state’s foster cares, child welfare programs and law enforcements to recognize sex trafficking of minors as abuse and neglect regardless of whether the child is found with a ‘pimp’; those girls will get a lot more help reintegrating into society and, most importantly, help connecting with their families again.
The FBI, working under the Innocence Lost Initiative [pdf.], an enterprise between Department of Justice Child Exploitation and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that targets those who are involved in child prostitution, were able to rescue well over 2,000 children since 2003 and can now add these 105 children, thankfully.
The Justice Department has estimated a mind numbing 450,000 children in the United States run away from home every year and that a third of them will end up living on the streets. Those living on the streets are the ones who are forced into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving their home.
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There were 19,219 reports of missing children here in Ohio with 11,721 being runaways and, although 18,990 of those missing were found safe, this still leaves a great many children still at risk just in this state alone.
There has been a numerous accounts already this year regarding runaways and the non-family attempted abductions in Ohio, there is still a great deal bit of work that needs done in educating children and their families.
Ohio already has been working on helping those who children who have been forced into prostitution being able to come back from such horror by using the victim-centered method where officials among various agencies on state and local levels work with religious groups and schools to help the victims and prosecute those who would harm them.
Attorney General Mike DeWine had also joined others in asking Congress to extend the Communications Decency Act this month hoping to keep the fight going in the right direction when it comes to human trafficking and the manipulation of our children.
The Polaris Project, an organization that was created to fight human trafficking, shows a full list of Ohio’s local organizations and referrals that help create a safe place for our people who have to deal with this terrible crime.
For more info: for those who live Ohio and want more information, please contact the Ohio Attorney Generals Office at: 800-282-0515 or local: 614-466-4986. They are located at 30 E Broad St #14, Columbus, OH 43215 (Transit: E Broad St & N High St). For directions, please see Google Maps
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Ohio Missing Persons Community Support:
- Ohio Attorney General: ‘In this traumatic time do not cut yourself off from others who can support you such as family, friends and clergy. Talk to your doctor if increased stress is affecting your health.”
- Team Hope: The mission of Team HOPE is to assist families with missing, exploited and recovered children by offering peer support including empowerment, emotional support and coping skills from a trained volunteer who has had or still has a missing or exploited child.
Sources: http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/Resources/Documents/Publications/CWS/AWOLP/FBI-Presentation.pdf; http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Media/News-Releases/July-2013/DeWine-48-Attorneys-General-Ask-Congress-to-Extend; The Polaris Project