Sex trafficking affects children, too.
It’s a hard statistic, but according to data from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 1 in 7 children reported missing in the U.S. are likely victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), sometimes referred to as child sex trafficking. In 2020, there were 1,097 reports of missing children made in Pennsylvania.
While all children are potential victims for this insidious and often hidden crime, some are particularly vulnerable to being exploited—runaway youth, children in foster care or with prior histories of sexual abuse, children with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQIA + communities.
We know this to be a severely underreported crime. There is no accurate count of the number of children who are exploited for commercial gain, but many Children’s Advocacy Centers in the Commonwealth have reported working with exploited children.
- Learn more about CSEC and child sex trafficking, including common myths and misperceptions, at Polaris Project
- Find resources for reporting and locating missing children at The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as well as information about online sexual exploitation
- Visit the resource page at Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center to find out more about the fight against child sex trafficking in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
- For survivors of any age, connect with The Switch Anti-Trafficking Network to find support and resources for economic empowerment and healing from human trafficking
In Pennsylvania, there are 41 local Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) that respond to all forms of child abuse. In 2019 our centers saw more than 16,000 children across the state, providing child-focused investigation, medical exams, and referrals for trauma-informed therapy to held kids and families heal from abuse.