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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200952 Find in a Library
Title: Prostituted Children (From Child Abuse and Neglect: Guidelines for Identification, Assessment, and Case Management, P 125-128, 2003, Marilyn Strachan Peterson and Michael Durfee, eds. -- See NCJ-200932)
Author(s): Susan Kreston J.D.
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Volcano Press, Inc
Volcano, CA 95689
Sale Source: Volcano Press, Inc
P.O. Box 270
Volcano, CA 95689
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following a review of the history and statistics regarding child prostitution, this chapter presents a victim profile, associated myths, best practices/model programs, and what health care professionals should know about child prostitutes.
Abstract: Child prostitution is defined as "the act of engaging or offering the services of a child to perform sexual acts for money or other consideration." Most States and the Federal Government have laws that prohibit prostituting children. In most cases, these laws target the conduct of the economic exploiter/pimp, but ignore the culpability of the sexual molester ("john"). There are estimated to be between 300,000 and 600,000 prostituted children in the United States. With the advent of the potentially lethal sexually transmitted disease AIDS, the demand for younger and younger children as prostitutes has increased. Prostituted children present special challenges to both the medical community and the criminal justice system. Attachment to their pimps and the belief that they know what is best for themselves result in victimized children preferring not to cooperate with law enforcement officials or social services and medical personnel. The vast majority of child prostitutes are runaway, thrownaway, or deserted children who have often been sexually, physically, and/or emotionally abused. The average age of entry into prostitution is 14. Myths surrounding prostituted children are that prostitution is a necessity for inadequate sexual relationships; prostitution is a victimless crime; juveniles freely choose prostitution; prostitution can be an exciting and glamorous life; prostituted children have power and control within the system; and prostitution is a deterrent to sex crimes. Effective responses to prostituting children must be initiated from the criminal justice community, and it should begin with the recognition that prostituting children is child sexual abuse and that the children are victims rather than offenders. Specialized treatment and reintegration of the children by social service or not-for-profit organizations must accompany any law-enforcement intervention. Essential services are prevention education, street-work outreach programs, and a transitional living program. Medical personnel who may have prostituted children as patients should treat them as any other victim of child sexual abuse. A relevant case vignette with follow-up questions is presented. 6 selected readings
Main Term(s): Juvenile prostitution
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Treatment techniques; Victim medical assistance; Victim profiles
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