Walking Prey: How America's Youth Are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery

Walking Prey: How America's Youth Are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery

by Holly Austin Smith
Walking Prey: How America's Youth Are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery

Walking Prey: How America's Youth Are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery

by Holly Austin Smith


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Today, two cultural forces are converging to make America's youth easy targets for sex traffickers. Younger and younger girls are engaging in adult sexual attitudes and practices, and the pressure to conform means thousands have little self-worth and are vulnerable to exploitation. At the same time, thanks to social media, texting, and chatting services, predators are able to ferret out their victims more easily than ever before. In Walking Prey, advocate and former victim Holly Austin Smith shows how middle class suburban communities are fast becoming the new epicenter of sex trafficking in America. Smith speaks from experience: Without consistent positive guidance or engagement, Holly was ripe for exploitation at age fourteen. A chance encounter with an older man led her to run away from home, and she soon found herself on the streets of Atlantic City. Her experience led her, two decades later, to become one of the foremost advocates for trafficking victims. Smith argues that these young women should be treated as victims by law enforcement, but that too often the criminal justice system lacks the resources and training to prevent the vicious cycle of prostitution. This is a clarion call to take a sharp look at one of the most striking human rights abuses, and one that is going on in our own backyard.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781137278739
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/18/2014
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,065,719
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Holly Austin Smith is an advocate for human trafficking victims who speaks about her own experience nationwide. After becoming a victim of child sex trafficking at the age of 14, she nearly committed suicide while the man who abducted her served only one year in prison. Her story has been featured on the Dr. Oz show, as well as in the Associated Press, the Richmond Times Dispatch, the Tampa Bay Times, Cosmopolitan magazine, and Dallas Morning News. Smith writes a weekly column for the Washington Times Communities, and she has submitted testimony to Congress. She has consulted for the National Criminal Justice Training Center and AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program. She is in constant demand as a speaker, speaking over 30 times in 2012 at universities, law enforcement agencies, and government-sponsored symposiums. She lives in Richmond, VA.

Table of Contents

Foreword Mira Sorvino v

Prologue 1

Introduction 13

Part I Before Atlantic City

1 Are Your Children at Risk? 23

2 The "Willing Victim" 35

3 Community Risk Factors 45

4 Advertising to Children and Teens 59

5 Negative Messages in Popular Culture 71

6 Violence against Women 81

Part II Atlantic City

7 The Buyers 93

8 Control and Violence 105

9 Traffickers and the Rules of Trafficking 115

10 The "Rescue" 127

Part III After Atlantic City

11 Immediate Aftercare for Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation 141

12 Intermediate and Long-term Aftercare 153

13 Prevention and Advocacy 167

Epilogue 181

Appendix A Resources for Parents and Victims 187

Appendix B Resources for Law Enforcement and Other First Responders 189

Appendix C 10 Tips for Teens for Protection against Traffickers 199

Appendix D 10 Tips for Parents to Protect Your Children from Predators 202

Appendix E 10 Tips for Elementary School Teachers and Counselors 204

Appendix F 10 Tips for Middle School Teachers and Counselors 206

Appendix G PESS #1-Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services on July 11, 1992 209

Appendix H Discharge Summary #1 213

Appendix I PESS #2-Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services on August 7, 1992 218

Appendix J Discharge Summary #2 222

Notes 225

Index 241

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