Child Sex Trafficking On The Rise In D.c. | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Child Sex Trafficking On The Rise In D.c.

Play associated audio

Police in D.C. count the sex-trafficking of minors among Washington's most under-reported crimes. A new public-awareness campaign is hoping to change that.

So far this year, officers in D.C. have identified more than 50 victims of human trafficking--15 were minors.

"This has probably been one of the hardest issues of my life," said Linda Smith. "Because these kids look like my own kids."

Linda Smith is the founder of Shared Hope International, an international non-profit dedicated to preventing child sex-trafficking.

She says wealth in the D.C. area has helped turn the region into a sex trafficking hub. "A pimp can bring a girl to D.C., dress her up, advertise her on an erotic website, put her in a fancy room and make thousands of dollars off of her this week, and probably tens of thousands," said Smith.

Shared Hope International is working with other non-profits and law enforcement in Washington on a program they are calling "End Child Sex Trafficking: Kids Are Not For Sale In D.C."

Organizers of the campaign have plastered bright yellow signs in Metro stations, and placed ads in the Adult Classifieds. They warn of stiff penalties for people thinking about buying sex, and--as D.C. Police Captain Charles Morris points out, for people thinking about selling it.

"Dealing with 13-year-olds, 16-year-olds, 14-year-olds, you're able to control. And that's what we have to take away," said Morris.

The D.C. Council also is considering legislation to reduce sex-trafficking in the District.

Rebecca Sheir reports...

NPR

Handmade Signs From Homeless People Lead To Art, Understanding

Artist Willie Baronet is on a 24-city, 31-day trek across the country this month, buying handmade signs from homeless people. He says the project has changed the way he views homelessness.
NPR

You'll Be Maaaaaaaad About Goat If You Follow This Chef's Recipe

Goat — it's the other red meat! And it's easy to mess up. Kenyan-born Kevin Onyona reveals the secrets to a tender yet hearty stew: You've got to break down that meat, and you've got to give it love.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial Begins Monday

It's a first for the Commonwealth of Virginia on Monday, as Bob McDonnell becomes the first governor of Old Dominion to face potential jail time.

NPR

What It's Like To Own Your Very Own Harrier Jump Jet

The Harrier Jump Jet is known for vertical take-offs and landings. It also has an accident-prone track record, but that didn't dissuade one pilot from buying his dream plane.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.