Child sex trafficking not a foreign concept


(Anderson) Herald Bulletin

It seems like something that happens on foreign shores, in grimy, overcrowded cities with astonishing poverty and unbridled crime.

In reality, sex trafficking of children is happening right here in the Hoosier state and right here in Anderson, maybe even right down the street from your door.

As disturbing as that thought might be, who’s responsible for what’s befalling these children will rattle you to your core.

Contrary to its depiction in Hollywood, a majority of child sex trafficking doesn’t involve a kidnapping. It isn’t perpetrated by a stranger. It’s initiated by parents or other family members who should be loving and protecting these children.

How could a father, mother, grandparent, aunt or uncle do such a vile thing? With desperate timescome desperate and unimaginable measures. Broken homes and economic hardship play a part. The need to finance unending drug habits is a more significant — and growing — factor.

Because, unlike cash, which comes and goes quickly for drug addicts, a child is a reusable resource that takes years to reach an “undesirable” state.

Madison County isn’t immune to this disturbing trend. In fact, it’s a prime location because Interstate 69 runs through it. That access and the short distances to Interstates 65 and 70 mean pimps, family or not, can whisk kids away to other locations to complete transactions where the child is the goods being sold.

It’s yet another danger in a terrifying world for parents, many of whom might not recognize the threat.

First, get it out of your head that it can’t happen to your child. It can.

It’s up to you to make sure that it doesn’t.

Know who your child’s friends are. Look for changes in behavior, such as falling grades, substance abuse or self-harm.

And know who they are talking to on social media. An online boyfriend or acquaintance can easily become a trusted friend and then betray them in the most harmful of ways.

No child deserves this life. Do your part to keep your loved ones from living it.

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