The Supply of Commercially Exploited Girls on the Rise in Three U.S. States
SAN FRANCISCO (August 3, 2010) – The number of young girls victimized by domestic commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC) is trending upward in states as diverse as New York, Michigan and Minnesota, according to new research commissioned by Women’s Funding Network.
“As with any initiative to change societal norms, unbiased research is crucial to the identification of solutions,” says Chris Grumm, CEO and president of Women’s Funding Network. “State-by-state trend numbers provide essential data to understanding the prevalence of this crime. Women’s Funding Network, along with our member funds, maintains our commitment to the expansion of quantifiable, scientific research.” According to Grumm, this includes geographic scope of supply, as well as research measuring demand that drives this illicit, but booming industry in the United States.
“As law enforcement and advocacy organizations across the nation have set forth a clear agenda for stopping the domestic trafficking of adolescents, the true challenge has been obtaining accurate scientific data that quantifies the scope of actual supply and demand,” says Ernie Allen, president and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “The studies commissioned by Women’s Funding Network help shift advocacy to definitive action.”
The May 2010 tracking study, conducted by The Schapiro Group, the independent, third-party research firm tapped by Women’s Funding Network, identified noticeable increases in the availability of young girls commercially exploited in New York, Michigan and Minnesota.
The study in these states included the most popular outlets for domestic commercial exploitation: the Internet and escort services. For example:
- In New York:
- 3,213 young girls were commercially sexually exploited – up from 2,880 in February 2010 (11.6% increase).
- 1,433 girls under 18 were victims of CSEC on a typical night via Internet classifieds Websites and escort services – and 98% (1,412) of the girls were commercially exploited through ads posted on Websites.
- On Super Bowl Sunday 2010, there were 80% more paid sex ads on Craigslist in New York than the typical Sunday; of note – the Super Bowl was played in Miami.
- Monthly domestic CSEC in New York is more pervasive than reported incidents of teen suicide and self-inflicted injuries combined: Reported incidents per year of teen suicide – 54; Incidents per year of hospitalization for self-inflicted injury – 1,222.
- In Michigan:
- 141 young girls were victims of CSEC – up from 117 in February 2010 (20.5% increase).
- The percentage of Michigan escort services offering “full service” (industry code for sex) as well as the percentage offering “young” females is consistent with other states during the current study period – but previously was comparatively quite low.
- Michigan Internet classifieds Websites had the highest percentage of “young” females of any of the states in the study.
- Monthly domestic trafficking of adolescent girls in Michigan is more pervasive than the annual number of females under the age 25 killed in car accidents in one year – 106; and the annual number of females under age 25 who committed suicide in one year – 31.
- In Minnesota:
- 102 young girls were victims of CSEC – up from 80 in February 2010 (27.5% increase).
- 88% (90) of those young girls were commercially exploited through Internet classifieds Websites.
- Monthly domestic trafficking of adolescent girls in Minnesota is more pervasive than the annual number of adolescent girls who die by suicide, homicide and accidents combined (29).
“Commercial domestic trafficking of young girls has been incorrectly perceived as isolated incidents. But this ongoing research clearly indicates a national scope,” says Grumm.
Interestingly, the recent tracking numbers released by the Georgia Governor’s Office for Children and Families, also conducted by The Schapiro Group for the same time period, indicate a downward trend in the number of girls being commercially sexually exploited in Georgia.
About the Study: Adolescent Girls in the United States Sex Trade – Tracking Results for May, 2010
The May tracking study is designed to count adolescent girls using scientific probability methods when they are encountered through two sources: ads on Internet classifieds websites and escort services. These are two of the main sources by which johns find girls. The May results are part of a multi-year quarterly tracking study that began in February 2010. For the counts, researchers called, tracked and calculated all escort service listings, in addition to methodically evaluating placed ads featuring young girls on popular Internet sites being used by johns looking for commercial sex with adolescent girls.
About Women’s Funding Network
As a global network and a movement for social justice, Women's Funding Network accelerates women's leadership and invests in solving critical social problems -- from poverty to global security -- by bringing together the financial power, influence and voices of more than 160 women's funds.
Women’s Funding Network has made a three-year commitment to fund groundbreaking state-by-state research which will be used to identify solutions and turn the spotlight on businesses and criminals fueling demand. Learn more at www.womensfundingnetwork.org.
About The Schapiro Group
The Schapiro Group is a strategic research and consulting firm based in Atlanta that serves a variety of clients, including corporate, government and nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.schapirogroup.com.