A shocking press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Portland, Oregon reveals that hundreds of American children are being sex-trafficked in that city alone. A reported 469 children were verified as victims of sex-trafficking in Portland over a four-year period.
The findings came from a joint partnership study between the U.S. Attorney’s office, the Portland State University (PSU), the Department of Human Services Child Welfare (DHS), and the Sexual AssaultResource Center (SARC). They sought to quantify the scope of the issue in the Portland area.
The study found:
- At least 469 children were trafficked for sex in the Portland Metro Area in the last four years.
- The average age at which victims were referred to DHS or SARC was 15.5. The youngest victim in the system was 8.1
- 96 percent of victims are female, close to 3 percent are male, and approximately 1 percent are transgender.
- 40.51 percent of victims are Caucasian, 27.08 percent are African American,and 5.12 percent are Hispanic.2
- 16.62 percent have had a baby.
Authorities say the findings are very conservative, due to the belief that the majority of these crimes remain unreported.
Such sex crimes against minors are more prevalent in large cities with high numbers of homeless youth. Many are often runaways who find themselves in need of food, shelter, or protection. They end up living with persons who ultimately prostitute them in exchange for the security and meeting of other needs.