Connecticut girls sex free

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She never got to go to Chuck E. Cheese, she said. This criminal abuse of children remains a problem in the state to this day, and Connecticut girls sex free show it may be on the rise. Last year, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families received the highest of referrals of potential victims of domestic minor sex trafficking since the agency started documenting the of referrals inaccording to Tammy Sneed, who directs the Human Anti-trafficking Response Team at DCF.

There were unique referrals of potential victims of domestic minor sex trafficking in the state inSneed said: girls, 17 boys and one minor who identified as transgender. A victim of domestic minor sex trafficking can be the girl or boy next door, whose body was sold for sex in exchange for something of value, such as money, food, clothes, drugs or simply a place to sleep. On the national stage, s of reported sex-trafficking cases continue to climb as well. The of referrals made to the National Human Trafficking Hotline increased by 35 percent between andaccording to the Polaris Projecta Washington, D.

The Polaris Project reported that more than 7, calls were made to the hotline to report human trafficking nationwide in and 73 percent of those were reported to be potential sex-trafficking cases. But, for a crime that mostly takes place under the radar, advocates say, statistics do not tell the whole story. While some of the increase in referrals can be attributed to an increased awareness about sex trafficking, Sneed said, domestic minor sex trafficking is also one of the fastest growing and most lucrative crimes in the world.

Connecticut girls sex free

The idea of her self-worth being decided by the men who paid to have sex with her was a mind set she could not shake as a young adult, she said, and sex work became the only way she knew how to survive. Sadly, Sneed said, this le to more victim blaming by people unaware and unfamiliar with the trauma of being trafficked and its potential long-term effects on survivors. Every friend that I had, there was a price. Some of the referrals inwhich are classified by the department as high-risk cases unless they are later confirmed by law enforcement as trafficking cases, involve victims from two-parent households who are straight-A students, Sneed said.

Connecticut girls sex free

Leonard said she knows that most victims today are recruited by a pimp and not a family member, as she was, but she said she still suffered the same brainwashing and psychological abuse she knows other victims go through with their pimps, who have tricked them into believing that things will get better as long as you do a good job. And even though her promised trips to Chuck E. Cheese never came, and her mother surrendered custody of her, Leonard said she still fought to try to stay with her in the end.

Many cases remain unreported Sneed said because often times youth do not even realize that they Connecticut girls sex free victims, and feel bonded to their trafficker. A referral received by the DCF for potential minor sex trafficking cannot be confirmed unless the victim confirms that they were trafficked or law enforcement does. But, all referrals remained classify as high risk cases, she said, and survivors are provided ongoing support to help them from returning to the life. Palmbach estimates there wereadvertisements for sex posted online in in Connecticut, a that is twice the amount he found inbased on information he gathered from public websites and social media platforms.

In response to the surge, state advocacy groups and legislators have started to tackle this issue and new legislation has been proposed in the latest General Assembly session that would make purchasing sex from a minor a Class C felony.

Connecticut girls sex free

In addition, legislation passed last year has created a system of mandatory training for hotel and motel employees and requires they maintain records of patrons for at least six months to aid law enforcement investigating potential cases of sex trafficking. Dannel P. Malloy announced a public-private partnership in January that would help provide training for hotel and motel staffs so they may better be able to recognize s of sex trafficking and now how to report suspected cases. At the federal level, the U.

Since the task force was created, federal charges have been brought against three alleged traffickers and four individuals are also facing state-level charges, though Connecticut U. Attorney Deirdre Daly said that three of the state-level cases will likely become federal because multiple victims were involved.

Last year, federal judges in Connecticut sentenced two convicted sex traffickers to 10 years in prison each for their roles Connecticut girls sex free sex trafficking minors. Sneed said that while she applauds all of the measures that have been taken to combat sex trafficking, the state has a long way to go in protecting potential victims from ever entering into the life and rescuing those that are already there, especially as the of referrals climb. The next goal of DCF and partner organization Lovea nonprofit in New Haven that fights trafficking globally, is to make presentations in schools around the state to educate students, their parents, and teachers about sex trafficking and how to recognize the s, as well as discuss healthy relationships and internet safety.

Every school in the state has been contacted by DCF, Sneed said, offering this presentation free of charge. A vast majority of schools have declined the offer, she said.

Connecticut girls sex free

As Leonard continues to struggle with her own survival and healing, she has found ways to assist others who have suffered the same plight, including providing testimony at churches about her experiences for The Underground Connecticuta Christian ministry she helped found, which is dedicated to preventing sex trafficking in Connecticut. For her day job, Leonard works as a case manager for Coram Deoa recovery center operating two recovery living centers for women who have suffered from abuse, addiction, or sexual exploitation. Jody Davis, executive director of Coram Deo, describes Leonard as one of the strongest women she has ever met.

Leonard herself was a resident at Coram Deo more than once, as she struggled with drug relapses after leaving prison in her 30s. It was during two bouts of incarceration that Leonard became a Christian, first experienced sobriety, and the first time she laid down to bed at night on a mattress that had sheets, she said. Leonard said many of the women she works with at Coram Deo were once sexually exploited and she is walking with them on their journey to recovery.

Connecticut girls sex free

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