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NCJ Number: 198146 Find in a Library
Title: Prostituted Youth in New York City: An Overview
Author(s): Mia Spangenberg
Corporate Author: ECPAT-USA
United States of America
Date Published: March 2001
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: ECPAT-USA
New York, NY 10115
Sale Source: ECPAT-USA
475 Riverside Drive, Room 830
New York, NY 10115
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report discusses the dynamics and ramifications of child prostitution in the microcosm of New York City.
Abstract: As defined by ECPAT-USA, "child prostitution" involves "the sexual exploitation of the vulnerability of children for cash or some other form of pay, and it may involve an intermediary like a pimp." This report focuses on prostituted and trafficked youth on the streets, the most visible and accessible population. Although it is virtually impossible to know how many underage youth are involved in various forms of child prostitution, Susan Breault of the Paul and Lisa Program estimates that there are approximately 5,000 youth and children involved in prostitution in New York City. Some who have worked with these youth have observed that the average age of girls entering prostitution in recent years has decreased from 14- to 13-years-old, with some being as young as 12-years-old. Boys cater primarily to the homosexual population, and there is little research on boys in prostitution in general or in New York City in particular. Sexually exploited youth in New York City reflect the ethnic diversity of the city. The overwhelming majority of sexually exploited youth are runaways or castaways from dysfunctional homes, where they have suffered physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Sexual abuse in particular is cited as a leading cause of attraction to the sex trade; up to 80 and 90 percent of prostituted youth have been sexually abused. The risk for sexual exploitation for homeless youth on the streets is high due to their survival needs and the lack of an adequate social safety net to care for them. In New York City, there are only about 500 beds in shelters for the estimated 15,000-20,000 homeless youth. Drug abuse can also be a factor that drives youth into prostitution. Children involved in prostitution face such risk factors as AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, potential pregnancy, and especially violence from clients and pimps. Clearly there are insufficient services to provide sexually exploited youth with the opportunities and support necessary for them to leave and recover from sexual exploitation and other abuses. Further, there is inadequate research on such youth, inadequate prevention programs, and a lack of acknowledgement by policymakers that there is a problem of sexually exploited youth in New York City. In an effort to address these deficiencies, ECPAT-USA and its partners, the International Organization for Adolescents and Girls Education Mentoring Services, have founded the New York City Task Force on the Sexual Exploitation of Young People. By building a network of people interested in eradicating commercial sexual exploitation of youth, doing collaborative research, and educating and involving youth themselves, the task force aims to change attitudes and obtain the necessary resources to provide services for sexually exploited youth and prevent the further proliferation of this form of child abuse. 72 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child Pornography; Child Sexual Abuse; Juvenile prostitution; New York; Prostitution causes
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