adolescents who have been drawn into the sex trafficking trade suffer from more mental and emotional health issues than female adolescents who do not. Over a five year period we want to improve the mental and emotional health of female adolescents to decrease their vulnerability to be drawn into the sex trafficking trade.
2. Identify a Public Health Problem
Sex trafficking of adolescents is a very big public health problem and is currently only continuing to grow. In fact, according to the advocates for human rights foundation, the sex trafficking business is the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world (Martin, 2009). It is also significantly underreported so the exact prevalence is hard to define. Although we do not know the exact prevalence of sex trafficking we do know that the problem is especially prevalent in Minnesota. Surprisingly, the Mall of America is a very popular recruiting destination for sex trafficking victims. It is very important to address this issue because most of the females who are drawn into sex trafficking are generally young, come from broken homes and are emotionally or mentally vulnerable. In fact, the average age of a girl’s entry into prostitution/sex trafficking is 12-14 years old. This makes it easy for sex traffickers to gain their trust and ultimately sway them into the business before they even know what is happening to them. As public health officials we have the knowledge and skills to help these women before they are drawn into the trade.
3. What do you know about this problem
According to Cornell University of Law, sex trafficking is defined as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act” (2012). As stated earl