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.

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.

If you are a victim of any age, or you believe you may know someone who is being trafficked, contact the National Trafficking Reporting Hotline.

Learn more about CACs in Pennsylvania.

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