What happens to the children who don’t make the news?

On August 4th, Adela Rodarte, assistant director of WestCoast’s Transition Age Youth Services Program was a guest on KQED’s Forum: OPD Sex Scandal Puts Spotlight on Bay Area Sex Trafficking. In the wake of extensive media coverage about police abuse of an 18-year-old, Forum host Dave Iverson turned our attention to “the children who were exploited the day before that story broke, the day after, and who continue to be exploited today.”

Drawing from eleven years of experience working with exploited youth, Adela spoke to the risk factors that make children vulnerable to trafficking and why we must respond to exploited youth as victims of abuse rather than punishing them.

To listen to the full episode, click here.

Other guest panelists included:

  • Nancy O’Malley, district attorney, Alameda County
  • Kate Walker Brown, attorney, National Center for Youth Law
  • La Toya Gix, human trafficking survivor; advocate, Alameda County’s District Attorney office

Related Articles:

Urge Assemblymembers to Vote YES on SB 1322 (Mitchell): There is No Such Thing As a Child Prostitute

This coming Monday, August 8th, California lawmakers will vote on legislation that stops authorities from treating victims of child sex trafficking like criminals. We need your help to get this off the Assembly Floor and to the Governor’s desk.

SB 1322 (Mitchell) precludes victims of childhood commercial sexual exploitation from being arrested and charged with prostitution and related loitering. This bill is consistent with federal law and reflects a recognition of the harmful effects of arresting victims of child sex trafficking, including further trauma, disconnection from community and school, and burdensome criminal records. (Click here to learn more.)
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