Tucson – More than 4,000 cases of sex trafficking in the U.S. were reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center in 2015 – with nearly 120 of those cases coming out of Arizona.
Many of the victims were runaways, teens and young adults picked up off the streets and trafficked into prostitution. Others were solicited online.
A study of more than 200 homeless young adults, aged 18 to 25, found as many as one in three had experienced sexual exploitation or commercialsex trafficking, according to the Arizona State University Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention and Research and the McCain Institute.
“Sexual abuse destroys a soul and it makes you feel filthy and worthless,” said Lisa Hansen, who runs the education department of Sold No More, an organization that aims to end sex trafficking in Tucson.