She had an older brother who went to an Ivy League college in New York, a sister who was involved in sports at school and two parents who told her often that they loved her. “On the way home she started telling us that she had been held captive in Everett, and that she had been raped and that she had been made to work the streets.” If you’re a parent, pause for a few seconds and imagine how you’d feel after hearing your child say she – or he, sex trafficking happens to boys too – had just been forced into prostitution.
When she disappeared, Nacole’s husband drove the streets of Seattle looking for their little girl. “As parent you just, you,” Nacole says with her voice trailing off.
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Child sex trafficking has become a $42 billion a year illegal industry.
“I don’t think the thought ever crossed my mind that I’d have to warn my daughter about being a child sex slave.” Police estimate up to 500 teens, some children as young as 12 years old, are working as sex slaves every day in King County. and local police agencies to arrest traffickers who are often involved with gangs and organized crime.
The growing numbers have prompted new legislation in Washington, along with concerted effort between the F. Those efforts might help the next 15-year-old girl who suddenly writes a note and leaves home like Nacole’s daughter did a few years ago. There’s nothing we did wrong, but she she needed to go find herself,” Nacole says.
“If a guy has a hotel room, he’s got three to four girls working between 10 o’clock at night until 5 o’clock in the morning and he’s charging anywhere from $200 to $250 per sex act,” Martin says.