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Attorney General Supports Campaign to Curb Human Trafficking
In March 2011, a mother and father were sentenced to prison for pimping out their 14-year-old daughter to a used car salesman in lieu of making their $281 car payment. The 66-year-old used car salesman was also sent to prison. This unspeakable betrayal of a young girl by her own parents did not occur in another country or even a big city, but in rural Eastman, Georgia.
Child sex trafficking is modern day slavery in which our children are bought and sold for sex. As evidenced by the example above, it can take many forms, and it happens everywhere, often in plain view. Child victims are coerced and forced against their will by ruthless pimps, who can be strangers or their own family, to engage in commercial sex, sometimes upwards of 20 times a day. If they do not, they face beatings, starvation, confinement and other forms of abuse. In other words, they must engage in prostitution in order to survive. The average age of children forced into the sex trade is between 12 and 14, and the average life expectancy is seven years.
The public primarily places the blame for child sex trafficking on the traffickers and pimps, but they are not the only ones we should hold accountable. People who purchase sex from children are just as responsible, and they are criminals too. As long as there are willing buyers, there will always be a market for sex trade of children. As U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said, we cannot prosecute our way out of this problem. We must change hearts and minds by sending a strong message that Georgia will not tolerate the buying of our children.
Attorney General Sam Olens has partnered with law enforcement, non-profit advocates Street Grace and youthSpark, and the Governor’s Office of Children and Families to launch Georgia’s Not Buying It, a public awareness campaign to address the demand side of child sex trafficking. For too long, purchasers of sex with minors have been under the impression that they can buy sex and no one will know. Through this campaign, we are drawing a line in the sand and telling potential purchasers of children for sex that their secret is out, and buyers beware.
The centerpiece of the campaign is a PSA starring pro-athletes Harry Douglas from the Falcons, Devin Harris from the Hawks, and Tim Hudson from the Braves, along with sportscaster Ernie Johnson, Jr. Ads will be visible throughout the state on billboards and local public transit systems as well as in state parks and rest areas.
The evil of child sex trafficking does not discriminate based on race, gender or location. Join us in sending a strong message to purchasers that “Georgia’s Not Buying It.”
About the Author
Lauren Kane joined the Office of the Attorney General as Director of Communications in February 2011. In this capacity she serves as the chief spokesperson for the Attorney General and manages media relations for the Department of Law.
Prior to joining the Department of Law, Lauren worked for a national property casualty insurance trade association and served in the Administration of President George W. Bush from 2005-2008. She was also on the planning teams for the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York and the 2005 Presidential Inauguration of President George W. Bush.
She is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.