DMST means Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and are essentially the sameDMST ais a form of Human TraffickingHuman Trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings. (WWW.dhs.gov)
Are the kids mostly kidnapped?
No. Sexually exploited children are often groomed prior to their exploitation by someone they depend on or are sexually exploited due to their status as a homeless or runaway youth. Research shows that children in Child Protective Services/Department of Family and Children Services custody are at higher risk.
So, is it the Child Protective Service Agency’s/Department of Family and Children Services fault?
No. The children are often in custody due to childhood sexual or physical abuse and or neglect by a family member or a trusted adult and these traumatic experiences make the child vulnerable to the manipulation of traffickers. However, across the United States our Child Protective Services and communities are facing a foster care crisis with more children in protective custody and a shortage of foster care homes
Age-average age nationally is 11, average age in Georgia is 14Childhood sexual abuse- over 90% of sexually exploited children experienced childhood sexual abuseFoster care involvement- 89% of sexually exploited children in Georgia had foster care involvementRunaway/Throwaway/Homeless
But still, it couldn’t happen to my kid’s right?
– wrong.The rise in children’s access to the internet, smart phones and social media also reflects the rise in a traffickers access to more vulnerable children (ex: A 12 year old girl is given a smart phone and within a month she downloads an Instagram app on her phone. Within a month she is “following” 567 people and has over 1500 followers…These followers who she and her parents have never met are now able to communicate with her and usually without the knowledge of her parentsIs it still illegal if the child willingly engages in sex for profit?Under U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of 18 who is induced to perform commercial sex acts is a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether he or she is forced or coerced.
Does it really happen here?
Yes. It has happened and is happening in Muscogee County
What are the signs?
Significantly older boyfriend
Change in mood, behavior or appearance
Sexually explicit media presence or profile
Material possessions they or their families cannot afford or account for such as cell phones, clothes hair, nails and purses
Possession of a hotel key card
Multiple or chronic Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Chronic runaway or homeless
Tattoo or branding
Family history in the commercial sex industry or adult entertainment