Each time advocate Noel Gomez and King County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Val Richey come face-to-face with prostituted children, they are stunned by the sordid details they hear.
When Gomez asked an 11-year-old girl how she knew what to do the first time she was sold to a buyer, she responded, “The old man showed me.”
Painful stories like this one are driving King County’s groundbreaking efforts to curb the growing demand for commercial sex.
A lot of people don’t see this advocacy work or appreciate the difference it’s making for some.
Though no one knows exactly how much of the local sex trade involves consenting adults or coerced individuals, a 2008 study estimated hundreds of youths are bought and sold every night in the Seattle area.