"Children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day." John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
There can only be one winner emerging from this year's Super Bowl LIV showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, but the biggest losers will be the hundreds of young girls and boys--some as young as 9 years old--who will be bought and sold for sex during the course of the big game.
It's common to refer to this evil practice, which has become the fastest growing business in organized crime and the second most-lucrative commodity traded illegally after drugs and guns, as child sex trafficking, but what we're really talking about is rape.
Adults purchase children for sex at least 2.5 million times a year in the United States.
It's not just young girls who are vulnerable to these predators, either.
According to a USA Today investigative report, "boys make up about 36% of children caught up in the U.S. sex industry (about 60% are female and less than 5% are transgender males and females)."
Consider this: every two minutes, a child is exploited in the sex industry.
On average, a child might be raped by 6,000 men during a five-year period.
It is estimated that at least 100,000 children--girls and boys--are bought and sold for sex in the U.S. every year, with as many as 300,000 children in danger of being trafficked each year. Some of these children are forcefully abducted, others are runaways, and still others are sold into the system by relatives and acquaintances.
Child rape has become Big Business in America.
This is an industry that revolves around cheap sex on the fly, with young girls and women who are sold to 50 men each day for $25 apiece, while their handlers make $150,000 to $200,000 per child each year.
This is not a problem found only in big cities.
It's happening everywhere, right under our noses, in suburbs, cities and towns across the nation.
As Ernie Allen of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children points out, "The only way not to find this in any American city is simply not to look for it."
It is estimated that there are 100,000 to 150,000 under-aged child "sex workers" in the U.S. These girls aren't volunteering to be sex slaves. They're being lured-forced-trafficked into it. In most cases, they have no choice. Every transaction is rape.
In order to avoid detection (in some cases aided and abetted by the police) and cater to male buyers' demand for sex with different women, pimps and the gangs and crime syndicates they work for have turned sex trafficking into a highly mobile enterprise, with trafficked girls, boys and women constantly being moved from city to city, state to state, and country to country.