Dr. Katz discussed the importance of identifying child sexual exploitation early in order to prevent prolonged abuse. We know from our research that most youth have been exploited for two to three years before anyone recognizes it. One challenge to identifying sexual exploitation is that 75% of exploited youth don’t view their situation as a problem. WestCoast developed the Commercial Sexual Exploitation Identification Tool (CSE-IT), which is used to screen all youth who are at risk of exploitation, rather than waiting to see signs and symptoms.
Dr. Katz introduced the CSE-IT as a resource that all child serving agencies can use to identify sexually exploited youth quickly. The tool will help states establish prevalence rates of commercial sexual exploitation, as required by the legislation. It will also help the broader community become familiar with common indicators of child exploitation.
We are proud to be part of the national effort to help youth live healthier lives, free from exploitation.