With years of experience helping sex trafficking victims process their emotional trauma, RHR is developing a plan to change the severe lack of aid for young boys trapped in the sex trafficking industry.
Half of sex trafficking victims are male, but to add to boys’ nearly invisible victimhood, “only four out of 25 shelters for commercially sexually exploited children serve boys, leaving them no choice but to return to their homes or to the streets where they face potential re-exploitation,” according to JJIE.org.
“Harriet Tubman did not wait around for a proper measurement of how many slaves were in the South. Neither should we. The work needs to be done while we try to measure it.” —Timothy McCarthy, Harvard Kennedy School The Freedom Ecosystem, Monitor Deloitte/Deloitte Consulting LLP
The most frequently cited global statistics on human trafficking indicate that men and boys represent nearly half of the total number of human trafficking victims. However, around the world, the sex trafficking of boys and men continues to be hidden and underreported and there is a severe shortage of programs to meet their needs.
- The average age an American boy enters into forced prostitution: 11 – 13 years old.
- Instead of being treated as exploited individuals, they are at greater risk of being penalized or fined for offenses, such as crossing a border illegally, or of facing charges and imprisonment for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked.
- Male victims of forced labor have been found in nearly all work sectors, including mining, forestry, construction, health care, factories, hospitality, and agriculture.
- Authorities, such as immigration officers, labor inspectors, and police, often do not recognize male victims due to biases or the tendency to perceive males as less vulnerable to human trafficking or erroneously view human trafficking as exclusively the sex trafficking of girls and women.
How We Can Help:
- Male survivors have almost no support system to help them escape the sex trafficking industry, let alone process their emotional trauma and reach a healthy mental state. We know that if RHR can help gain funding for these areas, that more young boys will be able to transition to normal life.
- Housing: Access to housing that is safe and has resources to meet their unique needs. The use of homeless shelters is often inadequate for traumatized male survivors.
- Health: Access to a wide range of trauma-informed physical and mental health services, including alternatives to traditional care such as peer-to-peer counseling.
- Legal Support: Access to legal support to ensure male survivors are aware of their rights, have access to legal proceedings, and are assisted in contacting consular services from their home country and seeking compensation for lost wages and injuries and other forms of restitution.
- Employment Assistance: Access to employment assistance that includes education, skills training, and job placement.
- Credit: Traffick911.com and PolarisProject.org
Bob’s House of Hope:
All of the above reasons and more gave RHR the idea for Bob’s House of Hope: A long-term shelter for boys and men who are recovering from life in sex trafficking. While its not open yet, plans are in their initial stage for the house, with benefactors currently deciding on an undisclosed location for the home. If you would like to donate toward Bob’s House of Hope, please visit our House of Hope donations page.
Donate toBob’s House of Hope or to inquire about counseling services for yourself or a loved one, please click here.