Catching a runaway…

I saw this article in the NY Times yesterday.  The more I read, the more my stomach turned.  It talks about the rise in the link between under age prostitution and those who are “multiple runaways”.  Four.  Four is the magic number.  According to the article, attempting to runaway more than four times in one year ups the likelihood that one will trod down that path.  To the tune that Dallas has a task force targeting kids approaching this factor.

But the sad part lies not in the evidentiary link, but in the steps that pimps actually take to lure in their victims.  The NYT had verbal and written correspondance from multiple pimps doing time for whatever reason who were not afraid to go into some of the details regarding their process.

“With the young girls, you promise them heaven, they’ll follow you to hell,” said Harvey Washington, a pimp who began serving a four-year sentence in Arizona in 2005 for pandering a 17-year-old and three adult prostitutes. “It all depends on her being so love-drunk off of me that she will do anything for me.”

Wayne Banks Jr., a pimp serving at least 40 years in Hazelton, W. Va., for the sex trafficking of a minor and related charges, wrote that the girls have to be convinced that the pimp is best equipped to handle their clients and finances.  “Seems more despicable to me to give something so valuable away as opposed to selling it,” he wrote, describing his pitch to persuade girls that prostitution was a smart business decision.

And it goes on and on…This article is a prime example of why children, little girls especially, need two parent households; father figures; self-esteem boosters; and honest, two-way communicative parenting.

Give the article a read.  It’s worth the time.  As for me, I’m running home to pick up my daughter, hold her, give her a kiss, and show her that Umi and Daddy love her to death.