It’s raining, a 12-year-old girl is waiting for her next client. She’s cold, she hasn’t eaten in three days, her usually active body is in pain after she’s been forced to have sex with 20 men in one night. She is someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, and the boy down the hall feeling the same exhaustion is someone’s son.” Where are they? Have you seen them? They are missing. It is estimated that 1 out of 3 teens will be unknowingly converted into PROSTITUTION only 48 hours after walking out of their homes and millions more lured into sexual exploitation through cyberspace from within their homes.
Human Trafficking does occur in New Jersey. Out of all 50 states in the U.S., New Jersey is prime for human trafficking and because of the number of highways, truck stops, waterways, bus stops and airports, it ranks as one of the top 10 human trafficking states*. New Jersey is easily accessible from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York and is in close proximity for a day’s drive and easy transport. The epidemic of trafficking is spreading. There have been reported cases in Voorhees, Camden, Blackwood, Clementon, Egg Harbor, and Cherry Hill. Then we have Atlantic City where the opening of casinos drew a crowd and the close of casinos invited an even more influx of victims. The loss of jobs left people vulnerable and susceptible, seeking employment to support their families. Homeless youth can be found walking the streets seeking shelter. The hotels and motels are used as attraction for the trafficking industry. Prevention is “our” responsibility. Have you seen them? They are missing.