WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Child Sex Trafficking A Major Problem In Virginia

Play associated audio

Child sex trafficking is a far too common in Virginia, according to local detectives, who say they regularly rescue girls from the sex trade.

Fairfax county Detective Bill Woolf says nearly 40 girls in the Northern Virginia area have been rescued from gang-related sex trafficking rings within the past year.

"What we're noticing is the emerging trend of gangs transitioning from traditional crime to sex trafficking, basically because it's a lot easier for them with a higher profit yield," says Woolf.

He says the young ladies who are most vulnerable are the ones who come from dysfunctional families.

"And gangs also use varying methods to build their self-esteem, sometimes they provide them with drugs or money or other things of value to them that they lack at home," Woolf says.

Woolf says parental involvement and simply eating family dinners together are good deterrents. But he's also advocating for tougher laws on the criminals who engage in sex transactions with minors.

Virginia received an F rating in a study on child trafficking by Shared Hope International.


'Not Without My Daughter' Subject Grows Up, Tells Her Own Story

"Not Without My Daughter" told the story of an American mother and daughter fleeing Iran. Now that young girl is telling her own story in her memoir, "My Name is Mahtob."

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.

Proposed Climate Change Rules At Odds With U.S. Opponents

President Obama says the U.S. must lead the charge to reduce burning of fossil fuels. But American lawmakers are divided on limiting carbon emissions and opponents say they'll challenge any new rules.

Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would bet real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

Leave a Comment

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