According to the FBI, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the largest hubs for sex trafficking in the United States. Each year, almost half a million American children are reported missing and are believed to be commercially sexually exploited. Any child with a cell phone or social media account is at risk–even in wealthy and “safe” communities. Unlike a burglary where police respond to an emergency call, sex crimes are hidden and require a proactive investigation. In most cases, the victims are too scared to even testify against the criminal. Many are from foster care and are classified as “runaways,” not thought to be missing until it’s too late. According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 75% of its missing children cases were related to online sex advertisements.
We can change this number. Let’s start here.