Not only are LGBT youth more likely than their straight counterparts to be bullied by peers and ostracized by their communities, but they’re also at higher risk to fall prey to child sex trafficking, reports The Administration for Children and Families. LGBT youth make up 40% of the runaway and homeless youth population, and once on the streets, they face high chances of becoming victims of human trafficking.
“More people are enslaved today than at any point in human history, and LGBTQ youth are being trapped in sexual slavery at alarming levels,” states the ACF on its blog. “Once trafficked, these children face beatings, mutilations, brandings, rapes and a host of other crimes that no child should ever live through.”
To further illustrate the problem the ACF provided a story of a teenage boy from Chicago, who has survived the ordeal:
“When Sam’s father found out that he was gay, he threw him out of the house. Having nowhere else to turn, Sam loaded up his car to leave for Chicago. When he arrived in Boy’s Town, an LGBT community in Chicago, his first pimp snuck up behind him, put a rag laced with sedatives over his mouth to knock him out, and dragged him off the street. When Sam woke up, his pimp sadistically abused him, forced him to ingest cocaine, and trafficked Sam into prostitution in Chicago and Michigan. His pimp made $400 to $500 a day from Sam’s commercial sexual exploitation. Approximately a week after his abduction, Sam escaped his first pimp, but his slavery continued. When Sam needed a way to support himself, he responded to an ad for an escort service in a Gay Chicago Magazine, where his victimization continued by a second pimp.”
The ACF provides services for all youths through its Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, ensuring that LGBT victims of commercial sexual exploitation receive the services necessary to recover.